TOBI (Towed Ocean Bottom Instrument), 1980s

Made:
1986
maker:
Institute of Oceanographic Sciences

TOBI (‘Towed Ocean Bottom Instrument’), designed at the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, Wormley, and built at Wormley and Southampton, UK, 1986.

TOBI (‘Towed Ocean Bottom Instrument’) was designed at the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, Wormley, and built at Wormley and Southampton, UK, 1986. TOBI was deep-towed behind a research ship on a 6-8 km cable, 'flying' close to the sea floor. Using sonar, the instrument generated images of the ocean bottom at a far higher resolution than was previously possible. Amongst the discoveries made prior to TOBI’s decommissioning in 2013 was the realisation of the destructive effects of trawling on unique cold-water coral systems in UK waters, leading to emergency protection by the European Commission.

TOBI is one of the last generation of British towed oceanographic instruments. One reason for TOBI's retirement was a growing appetite for developing and using autonomous vehicles for marine research.

Details

Category:
Oceanography
Object Number:
2020-209
Materials:
electronic components, metal (unknown) and syntactic foam
type:
sonar
taxonomy:
  • processes and techniques
credit:
Natural Environment Research Council

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