UMass Boston

The CaPE Lab

Instruments & Platforms

Acoustic Instruments

The CaPE Lab has a suite of acoustic and ancillary instruments that are the backbone of our Seafloor Mapping Program. This equipment allows us to visualize the surface of the ocean floor using acoustic instruments use of sound reflectance and identify objects, track changes, and make bathymetric maps. The primary instrument is the Edgetech 6205, a phase-measuring, dual frequency (550/1600 kHz) sidescan sonar. which allows us to acquire two resolutions of side scan imagery as well as swath bathymetry. The sonar is paired with the Teledyne TSS DMS-05, our motion reference unit (MRU). This device measures the six degrees of freedom, or heave, pitch and roll of the sonar throughout hydrographic surveys, so it can accurately represent the location of each sounding on the seafloor as the boat is moving. Along with this, we use the HemisphereGPS VS 110 vector sensor to accurately measure vessel heading and the Trimble R10 RTK-GPS for 3-dimensional positioning, or latitude, longitude and elevation, to within an inch!

           When all of these pieces of equipment come together on one of our research vessels we are able to create high resolution sonar images and bathymetric maps of coastal areas in water depths from 20 meters to as little as 0.5 m!


Ancillary Equipment

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)


Unmanned Aerial Systems

The CaPE Lab creates high resolution, georeferenced maps using our Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones. Our primary UAS is our BirdsEyeView Aerobotics FireFLY6 Pro. This piece of technology is a fixed-wing, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAS capable of covering up to 600 acres in one flight. With its built in RTK-GPS and exchangeable payload, the FireFLY is able to collect high-resolution photos, near-infrared, and red edge data. This is done using a Sony a6000 digital camera and a MicaSense RedEdge.

           Along with the FireFLY, we use a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, this small, but powerful UAS is very easy to use and can create the same final products as the FireFLY, excluding those using the near-IR and red edge spectral bands. The photogrammetry collected from the UAS platforms in the CaPE Lab can be used to create georeferenced 3D point clouds, orthomosaics, digital terrain models (DTM), and digital surface models (DSM).

Other Instruments


The CaPE Lab

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125