August 2016 - Marine Technology Reporter

MTR100: JW Fishers Mfg Inc

Marine Technology Reporter

For more than 45 years JW Fishers Mfg has specialized in the design and manufacture of high-tech, reasonably priced underwater search equipment. Its side scan sonars, underwater metal detectors, ROVs, and magnetometers are in use by commercial diving companies, public safety dive teams, government agencies, police and military units worldwide. JW Fishers began manufacturing underwater metal detectors for recreational scuba divers, and as demand for its products grew as commercial diving companies and police departments began asking for other types of underwater search equipment, JW Fishers expanded its product line to include boat-towed detectors, video systems and ROVs. In the ’90s R&D expanded into the sonar sector with computers becoming smaller and more capable of data transfer. Today Fishers offers three high-tech, low cost side scan systems employing the most commonly requested frequencies: 100 kHz, 600 kHz and 1200 kHz. Low frequency provides long range, but lower resolution and high frequency gives the highest resolution, but shortest range; the middle frequency provides an optimal combination of both. Fishers scanning sonar systems are also popular with many public safety dive teams due to its lower cost compared to side scan. It is lowered from the boat and produces detailed images of objects on the bottom. The newest addition to Fishers sonar product line is a Sub Bottom Profiler. The SBP-1 produces low frequency sound waves capable of penetrating through the ocean floor and producing images of objects buried under the strata layers.  JW Fishers designs/manufactures all of its underwater search systems at its factory in East Taunton, Mass. The extensive line of equipment includes hand-held & boat-towed metal detectors and magnetometers, underwater video systems, ROVs, side scan sonars, scanning sonars, acoustic pingers and receivers, pipe and cable trackers and a recently added sub bottom profiler system. The company is continuously updating and improving the software used with its sonar systems and boat-towed detectors, adding new features and capabilities while making the equipment easier to use and more powerful. In 2016 all video and light systems underwent an overhaul eliminating the quartz-halogen light bulbs and introduced high intensity LED lighting as a system standard. Sonar and boat towed system owners also now have the ability to mount a Microsoft Surface tablet in the lid of the control box, making it a sleeker package for the end user.

(As published in the July/August 2016 MTR100 edition of Marine Technology Reporter)

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Marine Technology Reporter is the world's largest audited subsea industry publication serving the offshore energy, subsea defense and scientific communities.