Vessels on the narrow deep water channel of the Savannah River at downtown Savannah, GA recently had to contend with an unusual addition to the waterway's typical workboat scene. In among the passing container ships, tugboats and ferries, the bright yellow 6ft (1.8m) Oceanscience Z-Boat 1800 was busy recording single beam bathymetry while being demonstrated at the recent HYPACK 2013 user training conference. Fortunately, the dual motor survey boat can reach 10kts at full speed which proved adequate to keep out of trouble on the busy river, and at the same time entertain travelers on the regular ferry crossing. Conference attendees on the multibeam demonstration survey boats were also surprised to see the little remote boat alongside in the main channel outside the conference venue.
Launched at the 2012 HYPACK user conference in San Diego a year earlier, the Z-Boat 1800 enters its second year of production available with the latest single beam sonar equipment from CEE HydroSystems. The Z-Boat 1800 on show in Savannah was fitted out with the compact CEESCOPETM 33/200kHz dual frequency depth sounder, capable of accurate bathymetry in only about 9in (20cm) of water. The CEESCOPETM is ideal for use on the shallow draft remotely operated boat. In addition to transmitting real time soundings and boat position to the shore while the demo survey was being conducted, the CEESCOPETM Z-Boat was also logging a full water column acoustic envelope on both sonar channels which may even be displayed through HYPACK® software on the shore acquisition computer. An internal Hemisphere L1 GPS system was used for the demonstration, although the CEESCOPETM can be used with internal or external GPS for RTK level positioning. Importantly for remote surveying, the CEESCOPETM logs a fully PPS time stamped sonar record allowing data received at the shore to be free from potentially significant timing errors.
The Z-Boat system allows fast bathymetric surveys without any requirement to launch a manned boat onto the water. For small area or shallow water surveys, the Z-Boat is ideal. For more information on The Oceanscience Group visit www.oceanscience.com. Information on the CEESCOPE can be found at www.ceehydrosystems.com.