Savante Subsea Laser Technology providing measurements in support of subsea habitat assessments.

 

In mariculture (marine culture), marine biology and ecology there is significant scientific and commercial interest in;

  • the monitoring of exploitable marine stocks
  • investigation of inter-species interactions
  • and the study of environmental stress factors upon subsea ecosystems.

Acoustic technologies such as SONAR widely lack the precision, accuracy and speed of measurement necessary to support effective habitat mapping and assessment; which is often performed using “ground truth” visual surveys and supported with direct physical sampling and measurements taken from specimens recovered from the seabed.

Savante’s diverse range of subsea laser and optical measurement technologies, incorporating underwater laser scaling, 3D underwater laser imaging, subsea laser profiling and video-grammetry laser scanners have been deployed aboard a variety of benthic vehicles of varying complexity; ranging from towed seabed sledges, suspended drop frames to sophisticated steerable remotely operated vehicles and subsea landers. 

Digital stills image of marine seabed lander equipped with basic four-element laser scaling tool, digital stills camera and angled strobe lighting

Underwater laser measurement technology provides the speed, resolution and detail necessary for high quality environmental modelling and population studies. Online laser measurement data also eliminates the need for time-consuming (and therefore expensive) review, assessment and processing of video and digital stills images by researchers following a survey. Deployed from fishing or purpose-built Fisheries Protection vessels, our laser systems have collected data from the littoral to ultra-deep water environment. Shown below are several examples of our subsea laser image-scaling and 3D profiler technology applied in the assessment of various types of marine flora and fauna.

Digital stills image showing twin laser-profilers used to provide 3D measurements as part of population mapping. Image courtesy of Marine Scotland, UK.

Digital-stills image showing pair of image-scaling points (separated 100mm) in proximity to fish. The scaling lasers are clearly visible despite the use of a high-intensity flash. Courtesy of Marine Scotland, UK

Underwater laser scanning creates high precision, 3D digital models of specimens in the underwater environment in-situ, without physical contact and eliminates the need to disturb delicate or fragile specimens from their submerged habitats. Micro-benthic topographical seabed mapping surveys, previously impossible, have been completed using our underwater laser profilers in a wide range of applications including;

  • an investigation of the effects of fishing activity on benthic populations and the effect of fishing net trawler door design upon seabed penetration in various sediment types.
  • monitoring of seabed surface dynamics and scour patterns in the littoral environment
  • wide-area reef mapping and identification of sites of scientific special interest
  • volumetric measurement and characterisation of seabed deposits of oil-industry energy-related drill cuttings as part of platform decommissioning planning
  • topographic modelling of dredging, trenching and back-fill models.

Digital stills image showing the use of cruciform arrangement of Savante's line laser line projectors to classify and detect clusters of cobbles. The interstices between cobbles (gaps) can be vital in supporting marine life. Image courtesy of Marine Scotland, UK

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