From Micron To Multibeam - Palmetto Subsea Inspections
Palmetto Subsea Inspections are a training and ROV maintenance company based in Charleston, South Carolina. Palmetto operate out of the International Diving Institute where students can also complete qualifications in commercial diving.
Since 2016, the company has offered ROV pilot training which is in line with IMCA standards and tailored programmes for specific groups and organisations. Students finishing training with Palmetto have been known to become employed with large scale Oil and Gas companies like Oceaneering and Fugro. When asked why they decided to set up Palmetto Subsea Inspections, Lang replied:
We saw a need here in the Charleston area. There were no observation class ROVs being used by the local dive companies or the police department so we bought our first ROV and decided, let's do this.
The way everything is set up with the Seamor, it's one of the easier to use units and especially at the price point and capability.
Sonar use is an important part of Palmetto's 171 hour ROV training programme with students trained in the use of both mechanical scanning sonars and multibeam:
The Micron was our very first sonar because it fits perfectly on our Videoray and we still use it: I've got it on my Seamor currently. Between the Micron and now the 720im, it's a great little combo on some of these smaller observation class ROVs.
Palmetto recently sought to upgrade their Tritech Micron mechanical scanning sonar to a small multibeam. With a few options for small multibeams available in the market, Lang explained what influenced his decision to go with the Gemini 720im:
I've seen the images and just doing a simple google search for multibeam either you're going to get Blueview or the 720im to show up…(with) Blueview, I don't think the price point for what they offer is there. With the Gemini, the price point is perfect.
Tritech sensors are available to hire before purchase, giving customers the opportunity to try products before committing to purchase. Palmetto originally took advantage of our rental options and borrowed the Gemini 720im sonar before making the purchase:
The moment I could touch and feel it, and I was able to try it and see that it works, I felt, well, this is what I like: this is what I want.
The Gemini 720im is the smallest multibeam sonar in the world and is ideal for navigation and obstacle avoidance on observation class vehicles. Unlike mechanical scanning sonars, the Gemini 720im updates a 90â° field of view in real-time meaning students learning with Palmetto, can see the benefits of using a Multibeam sonar and learn vital navigation skills which help prevent accidents and collisions within the water.
The Gemini 720im has now been replaced by the Micron Gemini which offers improved images, built in pressure sensor and optional AHRS.