WASSP Multibeam has launched its new rapid deployment multibeam sounder – the W3 Rapid Deployment System (RDS). Revealed at the recently held Pacific Expo 2019 in Sydney, Australia, W3 RDS has been designed for navies, maritime police and search & rescue organizations for use where depths are unknown and to find safe navigation routes for larger vessels.
When a fixed transducer installation in a small vessel such as a tender isn’t always practical, the W3 RDS has been designed around a portable Carbonfibre Mast that includes a transducer, motion sensor and satellite compass. This allows operators to deploy the unit over the side or the transom of the vessel into the water quickly and easily, often in just minutes.
Sunken Vessels, Aircraft or Vehicles
Once deployed, W3 RDS can profile the seafloor and water column in search of sunken vessels, aircraft or vehicles. Or it can be utilised in events like cyclones, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or war disasters which can alter the seafloor in such a way as to make navigation unsafe for support vessels.
When in operation, W3 RDS uses a wireless link or a naval secure communication system to send seafloor map data back to the mothership bridge system and display via a WASSP CDX display software or MaxSea navigation plotting platform - all in real-time. W3 RDS is designed around the digital DRX transceiver and features a low power processor DRX-32 (equivalent to 1kW), with the high-frequency WMB-160 transducer to give operators a maximum depth of 400m.
Portable and Easily Transported
Designed to be compact, the DRX Processor is housed in a Pelican case to protect it from water damage. The whole system weighs in at just 70kg (including carry cases), making it portable and giving it the ability to be transported by just two people from vessel to vessel, or even helicoptered in if necessary.
WASSP Multibeam was used after the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand in 2011. There was a need to profile Lyttelton Harbour to pave the way for the safe passage of navy vessels, which were bringing in much-needed supplies and aid. At the time, the underwater survey was undertaken by local commercial fishing boats, where it was found that the seafloor had risen by a staggering seven metres in some places. It was also used during the salvage of the container ship Rena which ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef on New Zealand’s East Coast in 2011.