Easytrak Nexus on an Arctic Adventure
An Applied Acoustics’ rack-mount USBL tracking system is has recently been deployed in the northern Arctic Ocean. The system, the Easytrak Nexus, is the most sophisticated of the Easytrak systems, with spread spectrum technology for high accuracy performance. Working with a variety of dynamic underwater targets, the Nexus was used during a geohazard survey by McGregor Geosciences Limited, a marine geosciences and seabed mapping company based in Bedford, Nova Scotia.
For the second consecutive year, from May to October 2010, McGregor Geosciences was contracted to map seafloor and shallow seabed structures in the high Arctic. The work was being carried out to identify potential drilling hazards and provide baseline environmental information in advance of offshore drilling. For the work, McGregor mobilized two survey vessels, the R/V Strait Explorer and the R/V Poseidon EA 303, ships that are ideally suited for operations in ice prone arctic waters.
The survey vessels were tasked with collecting multibeam bathymetry with backscatter, 2D High Resolution seismic, sub-bottom profiles, side scan sonar, box and gravity cores, grab samples, water sampling and profiles as well as video/stills photography, with the deployment of current meter moorings at four locations. Both vessels were fully staffed with a team of survey and geoscience experts that carried out all phases of the acquisition, processing, interpretation and reporting for the project.
Reliable, accurate and well serviced equipment is the key to the success of any marine project and to augment the suite of McGregor equipment on board, the Easytrak Nexus system was amongst a wide range of acquisition materials and ocean sensors supplied to McGregor by ROMOR Ocean Solutions of Dartmouth Nova Scotia, to fully kit the two survey vessels.
“We’re dedicated to supplying our customers with the best the market can provide to ensure their operations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible,” explained Matthew Davis, ROMOR’s Sales Manager, “and our purchase of Easytrak Nexus for our rental pool is just another example of sourcing exactly what our client’s need.”
Used for the first time in Canadian waters, the Nexus is mounted in the Ops Room of the survey vessel where it can monitor the activity of up to 10 subsea targets within a specified operating area displaying their position on a separate monitor in real-time.
Rick Hunter, General Manager of McGregor Geosciences confirmed that both survey vessels, mobilized from Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia in early May, have now returned to port following a successful mission.
The Easytrak Nexus purchased by ROMOR is the first system in North America. ROMOR is the Canadian representative for Applied Acoustics with 25 years’ experience in the marine marketplace, offering instrumentation, integrated solutions and technical services for the Canadian geophysical and oceanographic industries.