HydRobot - Remote control Hydro survey 

At a recent event on a lake near their office in Cambridgeshire, SCCS demonstrated the tracking of the HydRobot RCV (Remote Control Vessel) and HydroLite echo sounder combination using the Leica TS16 Total Station running the 'Captivate' software package. The new Leica control unit has an improved Bluetooth radio enabling direct reception of the SonarMite's depth data transmissions at ranges of up to 250m. The total station automatically and continuously adapts for best measurement performance to a variety of site conditions such as rain, fog, dust, sun, heat shimmer and reflections.

Features of the new TS16 include the following ....

* Automated target aiming range up to 1,500 m
* Automated target locking range up to 1,000 m
* Accelerated target search with PowerSearch
* Robust and accurate 3D positioning in dynamic applications

The HydRobot system is a remote radio controlled survey platform suitable for hydrographic surveys when combined with the HydroLite portable echo sounder and a positioning system. Ruggedly constructed the HydRobot and frame are made from high quality marine components offering a lightweight stable platform based on it's twin hull catamaran design. The HydroLite component of the system is a combination of the Ohmex SonarMite portable echo sounder with a rugged clamp mounting and detail pole. The HydroLite detachable frame provides support for the echo sounder, detail pole and either a robotic EDM prism or a GPS antenna depending on the required configuration.  An important feature of the system is that the same positioning equipment and software are used throughout enabling seamless integration of both hydrographic and conventional land survey data of the surrounding catchment area.
There is a demand for accurate hydrographic data as source input to hydraulic river modeling software used in support of flood risk management and other hydrological risk assessment criteria. These modeling needs cover a wide range of flood risk management activities including planning, strategy and flood risk mapping. The data is used to build ground models for the appraisal and design of flood alleviation schemes including the ongoing operation and maintenance of rivers, streams and channels. With the recent extensive flooding in the UK it has become imperative to produce accurate hydrographic data for planning the hydrological modeling, realignment and maintenance of rivers together with their surrounding environment, particularly in urban areas.
Shallow water hydrographic surveys on inland waterways present unique challenges for data capture with overhanging tree canopies, bridges, siltation and vegetation presenting obstacles to gathering accurate data in a dynamically changing environment. Conventional positioning technology using GPS is well suited to open water situations such as estuaries, lakes and reservoirs whereas robotic total stations present a practical solution to surveying in narrow rivers and streams.
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