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The Frontier Precision staff has been working hard to design and build a safe, affordable and reliable hydrographic surveying system that is simple to use, and easily deployed. This week one of the boats was used to perform a hydrographic survey of a utility crossing in a river. This solution worked best for this project because the user wanted something that they could put in their vehicle, go to the site and integrate with the equipment they already owned.


The boat uses an RC system that is integrated with a SonarMite high accuracy echo sounder and a Trimble GNSS receiver, that communicate via long-range Bluetooth, with a Trimble TSC3 running Trimble Access. This system provides safe data collection in otherwise challenging hydrographic data collection environments, or areas that are too small for conventional boats.


The system can be used with either a GNSS base station or a VRS network to receive RTK corrections. Alternatively, it can also be used with a robotic total station for challenging areas under canopy and bridges. The boat is run with RC controls and the survey data is managed and collected with a Trimble TSC3 running Trimble Access. As the system is driven over the area of interest, the RTK component and the echo sounder automatically collect data using a specified point spacing and/or time between measurements. The advantage to having long-range communication is to be able to see the depths in real-time, and to also have the ability to see that the needed data has been collected. The data is all stored in the Trimble TSC3, and a depth or elevation profile can easily be exported to a CSV file from a custom export style sheet.