link to AFSC home page

link to AFSC home page link to NMFS home page link to NOAA home page

Resource Assessment & Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division

AFSC Quarterly
Research Reports
Oct-Nov-Dec 2007
ABL Reports
FMA Reports
NMML Reports
RACE Reports
REFM Reports
Quarterly Index
Quarterly Home

Groundfish Assessment Program

Habitat Scientist Participates in Long-Range Sonar Acceptance Testing

newly described snailfish species
Figure 4.  Launching the long-range side scan sonar from the test vessel Three Aces off Catalina Island, California.  Photo by Bob McConnaughey.

Bothrocara brunneum and B. zestum
Figure 5.  Test vessel Three Aces with long-range side scan sonar in Los Angeles Harbor.  Photo by Michael Webb, NOAA.

A technical team comprised of a Habitat Research group scientist and engineers from the NOAA Marine Operations Center and the University of New Hampshire-NOAA Joint Hydrographic Center participated in the factory acceptance test (FAT) for the first of two long-range sidescan sonar systems (LRSSS) (Fig. 4). The LRSSS is a new type of sonar for fisheries habitat research that is expected to produce fully corrected backscatter and bathymetry over a maximum swath of 1,200 m, while surveying at speeds greater than 7 knots.

Performance of this and several other acoustic systems will be compared as part of the July-August 2008 FISHPAC cruise in the eastern Bering Sea. This project is evaluating acoustic data for describing essential fish habitat (EFH) and is developing operational guidelines for seabed mapping with NOAA hydrographic vessels.

A FAT consists of multiple tests intended to demonstrate that an item being purchased by NOAA meets the requirements of the procurement contract. The FAT for the LRSSS commenced after a detailed test readiness review at L-3 Communications corporate office in Sylmar, California, on 5-6 November. Parts of the inspection and analysis components of the FAT were completed in Sylmar before moving to Los Angeles harbor on 12 November to board the L-3 test vessel Three Aces (Fig. 5). The vessel proceeded to the test areas off Catalina Island, where the NOAA technical team witnessed operations demonstrating the performance and capabilities of topside and subsea components of the LRSSS under various environmental conditions.

This phase of FAT for the first LRSSS ended 13 November, and FAT is scheduled to resume in February 2008.

By Bob McConnaughey

<<< previous

next >>>

            Home | FOIA | Privacy | | Accessibility      doc logo