A newly acquired AML Moving Vessel Profiler (MVP) will help Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) develop improved methods of mapping the seafloor. With its unique ability to conduct real-time, vertical profiles continuously and automatically, the MVP200 is expected to improve the efficiency and quality of data collection.

Looking to add ground-truthing to the process of multibeam data acquisition, AML and NSCC are working together to integrate lights and a high-resolution camera to the tow body that houses the underway profiling system’s sound velocity (SV), conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD), or multiparameter instrumentation. Ground-truthing is a critical step in validating the seafloor characteristics (e.g. seafloor sediments and habitats) for interpretation of seafloor mapping multibeam data.

Dr. Craig Brown, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Integrated Ocean Mapping Technologies, will be leading the project. “The MVP was chosen as it offers industry tried and tested hardware for real-time sound velocity profiler (SVP) data collection during ocean floor mapping surveys,” he says. “It has the potential for integration of seafloor imaging technologies such as camera and lights”.

Ground validation surveys are costly and time-consuming. Conducted after multibeam surveys to collect information on seafloor characteristics, they are typically designed with a modest number of camera stations which provide limited spatial coverage. Development of a method that would increase both efficiency and data density of seafloor imaging data through integration of these technologies into the MVP would benefit a wide range of ocean sector industries, such as offshore oil and gas, fisheries, aquaculture, subsea cable routes, marine conservation and spatial planning.

NSCC’s MVP200 will be built down the road from their waterfront campus in Canadian manufacturer AML Oceanographic’s Atlantic office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The solution is expected to be supplied in fall 2019 and includes the MVP200, CTD instrumentation, installation, and training services.

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