Florida surveying company completes milestone project using autonomous survey vessel for artificial reef survey
Morgan & Eklund, Inc (M&E), a sister company of CSA Ocean Sciences Inc., is a hydrographic survey company specializing in coastal nearshore mapping of ports, harbors, and infrastructure. M&E today announced the successful completion of a multibeam and side-scan sonar survey to map and monitor an artificial reef offshore Fort Pierce along the Treasure Coast of eastern Florida. A post-construction survey was completed entirely using a SeaRobotics (SR) “Surveyor Class” autonomous surface vessel (ASV). The objective of the survey was to verify seafloor conditions and accurate placement of artificial reefs.
With its catamaran hull design, the SR-Surveyor M1.8 is a unique autonomous platform equipped with a multi-sensor package, that includes an EdgeTech 2205 multibeam echosounder, a 1,600 kHz and 540 kHz dual-beam side-scan sonar, an AML Oceanographic SV sound velocity sensor, and a Velodyne LIDAR for mapping features above the water surface. The SR-Surveyor M1.8 is an ideal platform to survey inland lakes, areas with limited access, dams, tailing ponds, and other areas where typical vessel operations are limited.
The acquisition of the SR-Surveyor M1.8 is part of M&E’s strategy to develop an advanced Remote Vehicle Services Division to evolve hydrographic surveying technology using autonomous data acquisition whenever possible. This would support beach and coastal survey services and improve the cost effectiveness, efficiency, and safety of daily operations. The delivery of the SR-Surveyor M1.8 is the first vehicle in a multi-vehicle order. M&E plans to expand its fleet with additional SR-Surveyor M1.8 vehicles and the larger Utility Class ASV from SR–the SR-Utility 3.0.
“M&E has continually adapted to the latest innovations and field methodologies during its 35-year corporate history,” according to M&E director Rob Collaro. “Our Remote Vehicle Services Division represents the latest chapter in how we leverage breaking technology to meet the surveying needs of Florida waters, beaches, and beyond by providing high quality, unbiased data to our clients.”