Hydro dam and reservoir inspections using a rotating head sonar

By: Aquacoustic  09-12-2011
Keywords: data collection, dam, sonar

AquaCoustic uses a range of technologies to survey dams and reservoirs, including scanning sonar, video, multibeam and rotating head sonar.

AquaCoustic has collaborated with a leading sonar manufacturer in the development of a specialized profiling sonar system. This rotating head sonar system offers distinct advantages over multi-beam sonar, providing extremely accurate visualization and measurement of underwater features, of up to 2 mm resolution at close range.

Use of the rotating head sonar system enables discovery and inspection of critical dam and reservoir features, not apparent to other systems, that could compromise dam integrity if unaddressed. The portability of the system means that it can be easily and quickly deployed, keeping inspection costs to a minimum, and enabling frequent monitoring of critical areas.

The sonar data can be combined with other bathymetric data and video images to provide a range of deliverables that are readily used and understood.

The profiling sonar technique can be used to assess vertical walls such as trash racks, bottom features and surfaces such as dam faces, under overhangs, or to measure plunge pools, sink holes, scouring and undermining in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Advantages

  • Real-time on-screen review of sonar profiles allows modification of the survey.
  • Extremely accurate data collection and real-time field observations allow on-site assessment of unusual features that may require further investigation.
  • Economical measurement techniques enable cost-effective regular inspections.
  • Uses a combination of technologies for a comprehensive, accurate assessment.
  • Data can be used in AutoCAD or other modeling software.
  • Can be deployed from a small vessel, fixed structure such as an intake or spillway, or through ice.

Applications

  • Ensure dam integrity through discovery, detailed investigation, and monitoring of sink holes.
  • Identify and measure retrogression of scour and undermining towards the dam structure from plunge pools.
  • Determine earthquake values by accurate measurement of dam slope profile from a single point.
  • Gather detailed data from hard-to-reach areas such as under overhangs, vertical dam faces and structures, and across the bottom.
  • Accurate data can be obtained up to the shoreline or beside vertical structures where boat soundings are not reliable.
  • Volumes measurements for water inundation studies.
  • Siltation volume measurement.
  • Imaging of localized selected locations.
  • Debris identification.
  • Pre- and post-dredging quality control.
  • Internal tunnel and pipe surveys.
  • Repeat surveys to monitor conditions.

Keywords: dam, data collection, Measurement Techniques, Profiling Sonar, sonar, Sonar Data, Sonar System, Vertical Walls,

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