BathyBoat is a new, cost-effective, easily-deployable, water depth mapping tool for restricted harbors and other hard-to-access remote locations. The University of Michigan Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratory (MHL) in collaboration with Michigan Tech's Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) and Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) has designed, fabricated, and field tested this remotely controlled and electrically powered boat to conduct precision bathymetric surveys.
The BathyBoat system consists of the vessel equipped with a high-resolution GPS unit, a precision depth sounder, water temperature and conductivity sensors, a data recording and storage device, and a radio communication package. BathyBoat’s location is remotely controlled from shore or boat and information from the boat is transmitted real-time and displayed on a laptop computer. Customized software shows GPS location, heading, speed, depth, temperature, conductivity, and battery life superimposed on a satellite image while out in the field. BathyBoat data is also stored onboard for later retrieval and analysis. Customized Geographic Information System (GIS) software creates shapefile, kml, and Microsoft Excel outputs of the data for display in a GIS or in GoogleEarth.
BathytBoat is ideal for use in restricted water bodies such as harbors, marinas (with and without moored boats), rivers, lakes, and shallow water estuaries. The boat is also non-polluting for use in sensitive areas. The boat is three feet in length and the boat, computer, and remote control land-based unit weigh less than 40 pounds. This allows for deployment from helicopter or ship in remote locations such as the North Slope of Alaska.
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