Prolonged Deployment Validates Teledyne Benthos R-Series Acoustic Release
When the new generation of the acoustic release (R Series) was designed, a test plan was created and implemented to deploy this new release off the Bermuda coast in 2016. The test took place in around 2200 meters of water east of St. George’s, Bermuda, where a 2000-meter depth can be achieved as close as 11 miles offshore. See below for the ap-proximate deployment location shown by the red “X”. The boat and support services were provided by the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) in St. George.
A topside deckbox was used for communications to the releases.
The test goals comprised the following:
- Verify operation and performance of an R2K release at its maximum depth rating.
- Compare R2K range performance against the former 866 acoustic release generation.
- Perform additional testing of acoustic performance with differing transmit power levels set on the R2K unit.
- Prove a 4-year battery life specification could be met.
The onsite tests were conducted and the plan was to recover the R2K release after the 4-year mark and analyze the data to prove there was an adequate safety margin to meet the 4-year maximum long-term deployment. In the end, due to COVID-19 travel restric-tions, the initial plan to go back in 4 years could not be carried out as scheduled. Howev-er, a silver lining came of it. This gear retrieval eventually became attainable through BIOS, and from this successful recovery we have proven we can meet and exceed a 4-year deployment with a notable safety margin after 5 years of deployment.