Hello everybody,

this is my first blogpost on this site.

In the following i will describe my experience, my ups and downs while
developing an ArduPilot based depth surveying system for lakes.
I know, this site is primarily for flying platforms. Please leave a comment, if you think that this is not the right place. Maybye, some of my findings are also interesting for flying platforms.

The Beginning:

If you are a scuba diver, depth is one of your major concerns.

If you are one an unknown divespot, depth is the major concern.

Two years ago, those were my thoughts, when we went diving in a mountain lake on the North Italian side of the Alps, where nobody had been diving before us.
How deep will it go ?
What will be the structure of the ground ?
What about the slope ?

On this lake, the story started.

The native people only had speculations and stories about the lake, but nobody could tell us what we really wanted to know.

Discussion with the native people, with every beer, the depth went deeper.

So the idea was born to survey the depth of this lake prior to submerge our bodies into the unknown.

The equipment consisted mainly of a Depth sounder with GPS (aka Fishfinder), a Body-Board, a GMR walkie-talkie and me, swimming with all that stuff criscross around the lake.

The „Ground-crew“ stood on the lakefront with the second GMR, writing down my „depth-and-waypoint-readings“ .

In the evening, all the waypoint data was collected and put manually into the laptop, running an old Version of the FUGAWI software. The depth profiles were manually drawn on a few sheets of paper.

The result was not very spectacular, the profile of the lake had mainly the shape of a bathtube, filled to one third with mud.

Here i am mounting the Sonar to the Body-Board.

surveying the hard (and cold) way...

But, what lasted, more than the result of that action, was the idea of automating that process.

To be continued...

Views: 8050

Comment by Gary Mortimer on March 30, 2010 at 1:24pm
One million points
Comment by Hugo Meiland on March 30, 2010 at 1:25pm
Looks really cool; keep us posted!!

Comment by Brian Wolfe on March 30, 2010 at 1:43pm
Very Interesting! Keep posting. If you eventually migrated to an RTK GPS system you could really get some accurate profiles.
Comment by Curt Filipowski on March 30, 2010 at 2:51pm
Very interesting use of technology, cant wait for part 2!
Comment by Chris McNair on March 30, 2010 at 3:27pm
How cool!
Comment by Joel Ryan on March 30, 2010 at 3:30pm
I love it! I'm a certified advanced diver with Naui but I don't have very much experience, but it's so cool to see this being applied to dive related stuff

Comment by Morli on March 30, 2010 at 5:32pm
interesting, can't wait for part2, feels like a suspense story :))
Comment by Dale on March 30, 2010 at 5:50pm
I'd like to join the native people for a beer.
Comment by David Ankers on March 30, 2010 at 9:51pm
Arrghh, need part 2. This is not fair :-)
Comment by Tom on March 31, 2010 at 12:54am
You can combine this with DrDepth: http://www.drdepth.se/ . It generates depth maps form GPS+Sonar data.


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