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Recoverable Sonobuoy (SonoR)

This project was a feasibility study to prove the concept of remote seismic data collection for 3D analysis. Two prototypes were constructed and tested during a seismic cruise in 1998. After several attempts and many modifications a good dataset was obtained. The technology available to us at the time was very different to devices available today; For example, data recording was via a 200Mb hard disk.

The SonoR system did prove that data collected in this manner was of scientific interest. The platform could be used for a variety of experiments and was robust enough to withstand the Antarctic environment.


The SonoR system consists of a ruggedized floating platform and central waterproof core housing the battery pack and electronics unit. The design was based on an exoskeleton of stainless steel components and a central core of welded polypropylene panels. Additional cushioned polypropylene panels on the inside of the skeleton served to guide the core into place and allow the skeleton and core to move independently. A single cross member at the top of the skeleton held the core in place. This design concept, plus inflatable buoys around the skeleton, made the structure strong enough to withstand "contact" with the ship and collisions with sea ice. SonoR was also capable of being deployed from a ship moving at 5 knots. The prototype was manufactured largely from off-the-shelf components; this helped keep the costs down and made modifications much easier.

Further Reading
For a more detailed description and a comprehensive specification please see the link at the top right.