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Marine Electronics Knowing where our dive spots are located and what is the depth for our dives make our marine electronics very important.

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Old 12-31-2015, 06:51 AM   #1
diveBabe
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What navigation technology is still needed?

I remember just a few years ago we used relatively simple chartplotter units. If we wanted chart updates we had to buy a new chip. Ten years ago there was no such thing as an app that you could use for navigation muchless one that would seamlessly communicate with your chartplotter. Now you can create your own charts with technologies such as SonarChart Live and sync your app (on phone or tablet) seamlessly with your chartplotter (like the seamless integration of the Navionics app with the Raymarine wifi enabled chartplotter).
It really baffles me how far navigation technology has come in the last decade.

What technologies do you think they'll come out with next? What features and capabilities do you think are still needed?
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:17 AM   #2
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Re: What navigation technology is still needed?

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....What technologies do you think they'll come out with next? What features and capabilities do you think are still needed?
I need to qualify the below by saying the population of 'drift diving' scuba divers is an extremely small market share and next to impossible to bring to market a new product and have it make a substantial profit.

With that said, I think the next big explosion for drift divers will be what "@trip" and reef.org are currently doing and building. The concept that they are using is to tie a GPS recording unit (any handheld) to a surface buoy so it can record a normal GPS signal and log the track. The diver then holds an underwater still camera and takes many multiple pictures of items they want to track underwater. The camera has a timestamp on each photo taken. The GPS also records a timestamp at short intervals. @trip syncs these 2 timestamps together and produces an accurate map of where the diver went drifting and recorded. This information is very valuable to divers seeking patterns of where to find certain fish, coral & plant life, and sand shifts.

Since this could now be downloaded into a database format and viewed on a GIS system with specific query's, you could easily have a simple graphical map that will give you a high percentage possibility of finding what you are looking for (given a large enough dataset).

Since you work for Navionics, it would be up to the marketing managers there to determine the cost and market potential to see if they could sell a profitable program that would bring everything together in a nice simple package of data collection, logging, GIS and a waterproof device for all of it. Right now, we have to do everything manually in steps and you need to be pretty good at photos, databases, GIS & programming. But the output is pretty mind blowing on the patterns that it is producing. As the dataset gets bigger, the ability to locate things that move around is going to dramatically increase. Reef.org and give you practical examples to show you how this works.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:07 AM   #3
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Re: What navigation technology is still needed?

It would be nice to have some great underwater nav tech that would allow a diver to store an accurate GPS location while on a dive and also be able to navigate back to a starting point of a dive. Also, it would be nice to share diver location with the boat topside so they could locate him while on the bottom or track him during an ascent.
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:39 PM   #4
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Re: What navigation technology is still needed?

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It would be nice to have some great underwater nav tech that would allow a diver to store an accurate GPS location while on a dive and also be able to navigate back to a starting point of a dive. Also, it would be nice to share diver location with the boat topside so they could locate him while on the bottom or track him during an ascent.
They have underwater transponders that help locate the diver but nothing GPS. Good sonar and a knowledgeable captain is about the best option available.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:08 PM   #5
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Re: What navigation technology is still needed?

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....and a knowledgeable captain is about the best option available.
Hey my friend Kenny, we dive east side like you guys gulf side. We've been using a "Text Message"
float on our 1st dive of the day to give the 2nd jump team and captain an idea of what's
going on down there and what to expect so they can get ready & adjust gear. It works
beyond fantastic and so easy to do. I know you captain the boat like we do and this really
takes the pressure off in rough chop seas when it's tough to follow bubbles and know
what's going to happen. The picture below is my text message I send up. No Reel or line,
just the float alone, let the capt grab it on the surface. Takes 5 seconds to
mark an " X " rather than write something that might be misunderstood
topside. Burst of air and back to hunting in seconds, but that captain
is so happy topside and you just made his day.

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Old 01-01-2016, 10:55 PM   #6
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Re: What navigation technology is still needed?

Interesting stuff, Johnoly.

From my understanding, a sonar is the most efficient communications in those conditions. Low frequency which means slow bandwidth (low data xfer). It also takes quite a bit of energy to xmit. Hence, the diver xmitter would be heavy. The boat would also have to have a compatible receiver. Anywho, that's my take on why such systems aren't more prevalent.
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