More Than Just Fishing: Scientific Research and Surveying with Deeper Sonar
Deeper sonars were designed for locating good fishing spots. They are known as smart and versatile fishing gadgets, great for any season and fishing type. But anglers are not the only ones putting Deeper sonars into good use. They have drawn interest from people and organisations who use them as tools for industrial and scientific surveying purposes and research. Hydrographers, environmental scientists, universities, civil engineers, divers, and many more are finding great value in these little devices. Some of them have shared their experiences with Deeper sonars and how these smart devices have served them in their endeavours.
Verifying Water Depths for Development in the Water
Curtis Weychert, an Environmental Specialist from North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, has been putting the Deeper PRO+ 2 to good use by getting data on specific areas of depth. Their agency has also been using the sonar to identify things like deep water channels in shallow bays and sounds to aid in navigation decisions. "We use the bathymetric feature to ensure that points of ingress and egress are not blocked, impacted, or otherwise unusable.” Curtis found that the PRO+ 2 was accurate, easy to use and affordable.
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has a rule language that protects nursery area bottom habitat from certain kinds of development which may impact the shallow productive soft-bottom habitats of their state. Formalized boat slips or boatlifts, along with floating structures are among the most common. Using tidal data from nearby buoys, along with using Deeper sonar at low tides, they can interpolate the average depths relative to MLW or MLLW to ensure that the water depths at low tides wouldn’t cause impact to the bottom habitat through various kinds of development.
“In some of our shallow sounds and creeks, the deepest water or navigable channel is difficult to assess on-site through turbid waters. The Deeper allows us to cast in various areas from shore and determine, through the bathymetric composite mapping, where the deepest waters and channels are,” Curtis explained.
“Product is accurate, easy to use, and affordable.”
– Curtis Weychert, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
Lake Maintenance and Storm Water Retention
Devin Crosbie from FloridAquatic Inc uses the Deeper PRO+ for maintaining lakes and storm water retention ponds for HOA communities, golf course, and government municipalities. “The mapping is a new service we're offering to our clients. Outside of that, the Deeper PRO+ has been very useful in quickly casting out and gathering depth readings, which are then used to calculate the amount of chemical needed to treat certain water bodies,” he shared.
"Very useful in quickly casting out and gathering depth readings."
– Devin Crosbie, FloridAquatic Inc
Bathymetric Mapping of Small Farm Ponds and Municipal Reservoirs
Philip Fandrick, President of Elemental Bioremediation Inc, gladly shared that his company has been using the Deeper CHIRP+ 2 and PRO+ for creating bathymetric maps of small farm ponds and municipal reservoirs. “We started off by casting it just to get depth measurements. We then saw that we could do so much more with this little device. We have since fitted this device to a remote control boat and use it in boat mode with an iPhone on the RC boat. We use it to build full-on maps with it. This gives us better sludge maps on sewage lagoons than the old way of using a sludge judge throughout multiple locations on a lagoon. It is also safer since we need not send someone out on a boat on top of a sewage lagoon anymore.” They put the raw data into CAD programs to produce some very nice maps, which works great. It is also safer since they don’t need to send someone out on a boat on top of a sewage lagoon anymore.
"The raw data works great to input into CAD programs in order to produce some very nice maps."
– Philip Fandrick, Elemental Bioremediation Inc
Marc-André Dubois is a diver and is using the Deeper CHIRP+ for shipwreck search in his diving expeditions. “There are not many accessible products for divers who want to find shipwrecks and we usually buy fishing side scanners or sonars as they are relatively precise. We really enjoyed the product.” He really enjoyed Deeper sonar and was really impressed by its quality, software and hardware. Having much more expensive and bulky units, he finds that the CHIRP+ gives similar or even better results.
"Really impressed by the quality of the product, software and hardware."
– Marc-André Dubois, Diver
Researching Alpine Lakes
Deeper sonar has also been put to the use of researching alpine lakes which can be difficult to reach. Using a very small boat (50 cm long) with the Deeper CHIRP+ floating in the centre of the boat and the cellphone aboard, the researchers move it with ropes from one shore to another to get bathymetric data, meaning they don’t need to carry heavy equipment with them to do the job. They can access very remote lakes to get bathymetric data with a very very light equipment and very good resolution.
A start-up in France, dedicated to environmental data management, have acquired several CHIRP+ and PRO+ units to collect bathymetric data. Their goal is to be able to collect bathymetric data from different maritime communities such as professional anglers, pleasure boats and even tourists as a part of a big project, meant for a better understanding of the impact of global warming on the Mediterranean coast.
Searching for Missing People
The Deeper CHIRP+ 2 has also been helping a fire brigade with creating depth maps of the waters to optimize the search of missing people. Such maps are to be added to their deployment plans.
Bathymetric Data Export
The most common use of Deeper sonars when it comes to research and surveying are bathymetric maps. All charts are free and downloadable, and all maps are automatically transferred to the Fish Deeper™ web portal.
Bathymetric data can also be exported to a .CSV file containing latitude, longitude, depth, timestamp and temperature, and be imported into other GIS software to create 2D/3D maps. Deeper sonars (CHIRP+ 2, CHIRP+, PRO+ 2) can also be connected with almost any device and receive NMEA messages over UDP.
Deeper sonars are very affordable compared to industrial grade sonars. They can act as a great tool for conducting preliminary pre-surveys before employing industrial grade sonars to those who require high precision. Deeper sonars can also be a great alternative and solution to those who need light equipment and those who need something to take somewhere where nothing else and no one else can go.