BioSonics Inc., provider of innovative sonar solutions, has taken a quantum leap forward with its latest release, the DT-X SUB, a self-contained, programmable echosounder for scientific data collection. The system consists of a scientific echosounder with data storage and power systems integrated and packaged in a compact, waterproof housing. The BioSonics DT-X SUB is lightweight, has no external cabling and is intended for monitoring and assessing all types of aquatic organisms, from zooplankton to marine mammals. Company President Tim Acker explained his excitement about the new system: "This technology has the capacity to revolutionize hydroacoustics and greatly expand our understanding of the undersea world. It will enable data collection in environments never before possible."
Development of the DT-X SUB was driven by increasing demand for information about aquatic animals temporal behavior and distribution over time. Continuous, long-term underwater observation requires the use of autonomous, energy efficient monitoring devices. The DT-X SUB offers solid state RAID storage and fully programmable duty cycle and echosounder configuration, enabling the user to collect and store hydroacoustic data during the day and night, and during each tidal cycle for extended periods. For example, the echosounder can be programmed to ping for just several minutes each hour and switch to sleep mode the remainder of the time. This "smart" power management system greatly reduces power consumption and extends battery life. Power system functionality monitors available power levels and performs a controlled shut down when power runs low. The system can then automatically reboot only when power levels are restored.
The system circuitry and features evolved from BioSonics' experience building customized echosounders for AUVs and underwater observatories where space and payload requirements are minimal. The new DT-X SUB offers a compact, lightweight design packaged in a 25 cm diameter housing that is 55 cm in length. Submersible to 1100 m, the DT-X SUB is ideal for ROV, AUV, or seafloor observatory deployments.