Ross to Deliver Two New Survey Boats to the Rock Island District

On February 16, Ross Labs, LLC of Edmonds, Washington, received the first of two boats it is providing to the Rock Island Corps of Engineer District and has begun installing the hydrographic survey hardware and software.

The boats will replace two similar systems Ross delivered to Rock Island in 2001 and 2002 for survey work on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

Jon Klingman, chief of the Rock Island District Channel Maintenance Section said, “The boats will be utilized primarily for hydrographic survey in support of the dredging and navigation missions on both the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.”

He continued: “The survey vessels will replace two survey vessels purchased through Ross Labs in 2002. The boats being replaced have served us well but are now past their intended service life and major drive-line and other components need to be replaced. We are also downsizing the new vessels to allow us to trailer each vessel, thereby improving our response time to vessel groundings and other channel emergencies along the approximately 300 miles of each river within Rock Island District.”

The boats being replaced are 34-foot twin-hull work boats with 20-foot transducer beams that provide a 50-foot sweep width. The new boats are 25-foot aluminum catamarans with 10-foot booms that provide a 25-foot sweep width with six transducers.

Additional survey capability will be provided by a R2Sonic multibeam systems, which will be installed by the district when the boats are delivered.

“We were awarded the contract for this last fall. The contract was initially for one boat with an option for the second, which was approved shortly after the New Year. We placed the order for two boats with Armstrong Marine based in Port Angeles, Washington. While the boats were in production we have been manufacturing the boom and electronics systems. These boats and systems are essentially sister ships for Launch 22 and Launch 23 that we delivered in 2013 and 2017, respectively, to the St Paul District,” said Jim Ross, manager of sales and technical support.

The first boat is scheduled for delivery to Rock Island, Illinois, approximately the second week of March. Ross will then install the equipment on the second boat, which will take three to four weeks.

The boats will include the following equipment:

  • Ross Sweep Survey system, which include two 10-foot booms port and starboard, hydraulically controlled from helm mounted controls; and six 10-degree transducers, two on each boom and one in each of the catamaran hulls providing full bottom coverage over a 25-foot width;
  • Ross Model 4810 multi-channel transceiver providing multi-depth sounding capability, correction for sound velocity, setup calibration, user interface, and parameter control, (depth range, blanking), and providing a proprietary serial output string to the Hypack data collection software;
  • Specially configured desktop data collection computer running Hypack software;
  • Hypack Survey software for data collection, Hypack multibeam software for data editing and display;
  • Trimble SPS-461 GPS RTK enabled with GNSS/MSS Global Marine beacon antenna;
  • Ross 9570 Roll Pitch sensor;
  • Multiple monitors for 4810 and Hypack data collection, helm station, survey operator position (port side forward), and electronics console (starboard side aft);
  • Ross Model 5150 one-man bar check system;
  • Armstrong Marine Hyper-Arm Multi Beam retractable transducer mount.

The Rock Island District is responsible for surveying on 314 miles of the Upper Mississippi River from Guttenberg, Iowa, to Saverton, Missouri, and 268 miles of the Illinois Waterway from Lake Street in Downtown Chicago to the LaGrange Lock and Dam, southwest of Beardstown, Illinois.