V2 passes Cape Town sea-trials and heads for California

The Sea Technology Services Fast Towed Cam (FTC) V2 system, designed and manufactured for NOAA’s Advanced Survey Technology (AST) group, in San Diego, successfully passed its bench acceptance testing and first “swim” tests off Cape Town.


Electronically, mechanically and hydro-dynamically V2’s performance, and especially her controlled deep-diving abilities, at boat speeds above 11knots, exceeded expectations. After final adjustments to the stereo photographic and self-charging systems, V2 was dispatched to San Diego, where she will undergo further testing at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Centre, before boarding ship in San Francisco, where she will be used on a Sardine stock assessment survey along the Californian coast.


FTC is a research and development project to enhance the capabilities of fish identification and verification during hydro acoustic stock assessment surveys, by means of stereo photography. An alternative to having to slow the survey ship for a trawling operation to verify targets that are being detected by the ship’s survey echosounders and sonar systems.


The FTC system utilises the unique Sea Technology Services designed communications module to send live video, control and telemetry data over “old style” copper cored winch cable (no fibre optic re-cabling or re-winching needed).


FTC also serves as an undulating vehicle and sensor platform, and is currently fitted with a Sea-Bird CTD system.