The Smart Tether uses orientation and depth sensors at multiple locations along the tether. Using the data from these sensors, the shape of the tether can be determined, and thereby the position of the vehicle relative to the operator. The operator's absolute location can be determined either by the included GPS antenna or by manually entering a location. By adding the vehicle's relative position to the operator's absolute position, the vehicle's absolute real-time position is determined.
No. The Smart Tether is a completely non-acoustic system. It uses orientation sensors housed within the tether, and does not need to communicate with any external hardware. Therefore it is not prone to problems with acoustic reflections, noise, or obstructions.
Very easy. One of the main advantages of the Smart Tether is its simplicity. Since all the sensors are in the tether, setting up the Smart Tether is virtually the same as setting up your underwater vehicle normally.
More than 5 times per second.
Operated properly the Smart Tether can have better than 5-foot accuracy.
All data collected during an operation (operator position, ROV position, target locations, and sensor data) is automatically stored in a text file. Marked targets and scanned areas can be viewed in Google Earth during or after an operation. Operation data can also be replayed in the Smart Tether software. With an optional software upgrade, additional Google Earth post-processing options are included such as viewing the entire path history of the boat and ROV and assigning snapshots or videos from a camera or SONAR to a marked target.
Yes. An upconverter kit is available to make a Pro 3 tether work on a Pro 4 VideoRay.
Yes. An optional Smart Tether TDS is available for the Pro 3 Smart Tether which uses 12 wires. A standard TDS will work for the Pro 4 Smart Tether.
Yes. The Smart Tether outputs a NMEA $GPGGA GPS string. The standard software outputs this data at 0.1 Hz. With the optional Real-Time Data Output Plug-In, the output rate is increased to 5 Hz. Data is output via serial communication, either through a physical port or through third-party virtual port software.
The standard system uses the WGS84 datum. However if you supply a GPS receiver which uses a different datum, the Smart Tether software can interpret it, as long as the receiver puts out the standard NMEA GPGGA string format. The coordinate system is user-selectable between:
- decimal degrees
- degrees and decimal minutes
- degrees, minutes, and decimal seconds
- universal transverse mercator (UTM).
The system runs on 110 VAC power from a wall outlet or generator. It can also operate off of an automotive or marine battery using an inverter. In the case of the VideoRay system, the tether is completely powered by the VideoRay integrated control box.
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