Boat Platform | Remote Platform | Diver Platform

SWaPS System Description

  • An innovative survey method developed by scientists from NOAA's National Geodetic Survey to establish the precise position of objects and organisms in shallow-water environments and provide a permanent, geocoded visual record of the bottom

  • SWaPS uses a GPS receiver centered over a gimbaled digital video or still camera suspended in a glass enclosure, providing a clear view of the bottom

  • The digital images obtained are encoded with GPS position, time, date, depth, heading, and pitch and roll, providing an immediate permanent archive

  • Post-processing the GPS data allows the user to recover the same position again with sub-meter accuracy

  • SWaPS is available in three survey platforms, boat, remote, and diver platforms, that can access different types of habitats under different field conditions

Advantages of SWaPS

The most attractive features of SWaPS for monitoring and assessment activities include:

1. The ability to survey large areas rapidly without the need to deploy divers or specialized field personnel

2. The ability to return to precise locations with sub-meter resolution over and over without the need to establish permanent markers

3. The ability to measure size and distance information provides valuable tools in restoration and damage assessment studies

4. Permanent visual, geo-coded data archive collected at time of survey

5. SWaPS data can be accessed remotely through the web by students, educators, researchers, and resource managers to support diverse projects without the need of costly field sampling