CMAR - Coastal Marine Applied Research: Equipment (hire available)

CMAR has a comprehensive range of field equipment for survey, hydrodynamic and morphological measurements. Our technical and academic staff are highly experienced in the set up, deployment and retrieval of this equipment, and we've published a number of peer-reviewed journal papers using the fantastic data they acquire. 

We also have a rapid storm response unit, which can mobilise and deploy a range of our instruments at short notice. Over the last three years this has recorded data from some of the largest storms to have hit the British coastline since records began.

Below is a sample of the equipment that is available for project use and hire from CMAR. Please contact us for further details, or for a full instrument roster.

Lagrangian surface current drifters

GPS drifters: used to measure lagrangian current velocities, with capability up to several kilometres from shore. We have used these extensively for the measurement of nearshore rip currents and for the validation of hydrodynamic models. We have a large fleet of drifters available, with on-board logging or live-feed data telemetry up to 2km from shore

GPS drifters

RV CODY inshore survey vessel

Survey equipment

UAV DJI-Phantom 4 Pro: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for collection of topographic survey data using structure from motion (SFM) imagery

UAV DJI-Phantom 4 Pro RTK: unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with onboard RTK-GPS geo-location for collection of topographic survey data using structure from motion (SFM) imagery

Valeport Midas Surveyor: single-beam echo sounder used to collect bathymetric data 

All-terrain vehicle: used in combination with the RTK-GPS equipment  to rapidly collect topographic surveys over large spatial extents (kilometres)

RV CODY inshore survey vessel: Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) used to collect shallow water bathymetry survey data and for the deployment of research instruments in the nearshore.  RYA SCV Cat4 coded vessel (restricted) for nearshore operation UK wide

Current profilers

Acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCP): to measure water current velocities at a range of frequencies and depths

ADCP bedframes: trawl-resistant housing for ADCP, with quick-release acoustic pop-up buoy capability

Aquadopp profilers: to measure water current velocities at a range of frequencies (0.4–2MHz) and depths (4–90m)

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and bed frame

Fixed stem and flexible stem Vector Velocimeters

Current meters

Vector Velocimeter: high-resolution 3D velocity and pressure data. Fixed stem and flexible stem versions are available.

Vectrino Velocimeter: high-resolution 3D measurements of water velocity fluctuations, at sample rates of up to 200Hz

Valeport current meter: collects single point current data for real-time applications

Acoustic imaging

Sand Ripple Profiling Sonar-dual head: generates a topographic profile of the sand and ripples as they are transported underneath the sonar

Aquascat 1000R: high-frequency acoustic instrument that measures suspended sediment up to a depth of 1000m

3D Imaging Sonar 5150: revolving transducer that generates three dimensional surface plots of the seabed at distances of up to 400m


Sand ripple profiler

RBR solo pressure transducer

Pressure sensors

RBR Solo pressure transducer: records water temperature, atmospheric pressure, and sea pressure to a depth of 20m.

Wave buoys

Oceanor wave buoys: wave measurement buoy for coastal and harbour operations

Oceanor wave buoy

Augmented Reality Sandbox

Interactive learning and measurement

Augmented Reality Sandbox: hands-on interactive learning sandbox used to simulate water flow over infinitely variable 3D topographic landforms

Sediment calibration facility: recirculates water and sediment particles throughout the system to look at the suspension and settling of sediment at different depths

Chemistry, salinity, temperature, and depth sensors

TriOS sensor: OPUS UV spectral sensor, to measure NO3-N, NO2-N, organic ingredients, and a number of other parameters with capabilities up to 300m depth

Micro-structure profiler (MSS90): instrument for precision vertical profiling of microstructure within the upper 2000m of water column

Valeport SWiFT SVP: sound velocity, conductivity, temperature, density, salinity, and pressure profiler

MiniBAT: tow sampling platform for taking measurements at various depths

Rosette water sampler: water sampler for coastal, estuarine, and large lake ecological monitoring to depths of 600m

Valeport SWiFT SVP

Sonadyne deep water acoustic release transponder

Acoustic releases

Sonadyne lightweight acoustic release transponder: used to moor instruments in 500m of water. Working load of 125kg. Optional rope canister for recovery. Up to four years deployment

Sonadyne deep water acoustic release transponder: used to moor strings up to 6,000m depth. Working load of 1,275 kg. Up to two years deployment

Rapid Storm Response Unit

To further our understanding of the impacts of storms on our coastline, we have developed the rapid storm response unit. This vehicle has everything we need to go out and monitor hydro and morpho dynamics during extremely high-energy conditions at the coast. The unit can be mobilised at short notice – an essential prerequisite to capturing pre, during, and post storm conditions. Over the last three years this has recorded data from some of the largest storms to have hit the British coastline since records began.

Contact the Coastal Marine Applied Research group

School of Biological and Marine Sciences, Reynolds Building 119, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA