Release Beacons – Overview

Acoustic Release beacons are used to recover or lower equipment deployed under the sea, either in shallow or continental shelf waters. The beacon holds on to the anchor weight attached to the instrument or equipment until remotely commanded to release it.

Acoustic releases can be used as recoverable reference markers for positioning systems such as Easytrak and other USBL systems, as well as allowing the recovery of subsea instruments such as current meters. For example, release beacons can be fitted to ADCP frames to aid recovery and can be used to deploy, or place, objects on to the seafloor. In addition, most release beacons can send back information such as tilt status and battery condition. With low power consumption, acoustic release beacons are typically designed for long life operations.

As with other beacons from Applied Acoustics, the acoustic release beacon can receive and transmit signals to a surface instrument. When the equipment is ready to be retrieved, the surface transmitter will send acoustic signals through the water to locate it and a specific command to release, and it will let go of the anchor. The anchor weight remains on the seabed while the equipment and release transponder float to the surface.

Applied Acoustics supplies standard products and customised versions of Release Beacons to meet specific underwater release, command or control requirements. Tone burst beacons (500 Series) operate with Easytrak USBL and PAM systems. Spread Spectrum beacons (1500 Series) operate with Easytrak Nexus USBL and 3510 PAM Portable.