Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV)

Science Center Objects

Scientists are using the Ecomapper Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to collect imagery, bathymetry, and basic water-quality parameters. The Ecomapper provides a innovative visualization of data.

Scientists are using the Ecomapper to collect side-scan sonar imagery and bathymetry at Rough River Lake and Nolin River Lake along the primary transects (25 meter transect spacing with 18 transects per site) along with basic water-quality parameters. The Ecomapper will be operated in an undulating survey mode to yield 3-D water-quality data maps for improved visualization of the data. This data is being collected as part of the research to identify potential Indicators of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).

Water Quality Parameters Collected at Nolin Lake

  • water temperature
  • dissioved oxygen
  • specific conductance
  • turbidity
  • pH
  • blue-green algae
Ecomapper typical survey method

Ecomapper with explanations of data types

Ecomapper Capabilities

  • Mapping both the water column and bed
  • Operating without human interaction
  • Operating in hazardous conditions
  • Providing an integrated, geospatially-referenced data set
  • Saving significant person-hours in the field

Benefits of AUVs 

  • Identify key sampling locations
  • Reveal mixing processes
  • Evaluate restoration efforts
  • Allow rapid responses