Seatronics Supplies Equipment to New Research Vessel

Seatronics Ltd. is making significant waves in the scientific sector with its third contract in less than two months, bringing the total value of contracts to almost £1 million. The Marine Institute, Galway, Ireland, has chosen its ground discrimination system, ECHOplus for fitting to its new research vessel "Celtic Explorer".

This state-of-the-art vessel is fitted with a full range of scientific equipment and is currently undertaking a seabed survey for the Geological Survey of Ireland.

ECHOplus was jointly developed by Seatronics Ltd of Aberdeen and SEA (Group) Ltd of Bath. The system provides users with a rapid and effective means of identifying seabed type by analysis of acoustic signals from an existing vessels echo sounder. The resulting data can then be stored and plotted to provide detailed seabed charts identifying different regions for scientific or commercial use.

The Marine Institute in Ireland has for many years been associated with the development of ground discriminations systems and has used them extensively on previous vessels. Before choosing ECHO plus for this prestigious application, The Marine Institute considered a range of criteria which included system performance, ease of use, flexibility, commercial value, technical advances and product support.

ECHO plus gives "Celtic Explorer" the means of remotely undertaking seabed classification just through analysis of the onboard echo sounder signals. Capable of simultaneous dual frequency operation and output of raw data for increased resolution, ECHOplus is an important tool for all types of habitat mapping projects and environmental analysis. The design of the system also allows for easy transfer to the Institutes second vessel, "Celtic Voyager" or any vessel of opportunity, to meet operational demands.

Hamish Forbes, sales manager at Seatronics said : "Securing this sale to a very experienced and knowledgeable customer such as The Marine Institute demonstrates the high performance of our system. Coming very quickly after a recent sale to Gardline Environmental we believe that ECHOplus is now established as a leader in this area of acoustic studies."

"Enquiry levels for ECHOplus have dramatically increased and are coming from around the world. Our recent involvement in the International Council for Exploration of the Seas workshop in Poland gave us a valuable insight into the scientific requirements for these systems and our on-going development of the system will take on board the comments made by scientists at this meeting."