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Past Projects

Wishon Dam Sonar Investigation, July 2018

Teaming up with our frequent collaborators UAI and SeaView Systems as subcontractors to Phoenix International, we obtained high-resolution imagery of the dam at Wishon Lake for PG&E using UAI's custom MS1000 sonar.


The guys from Phoenix Int'l launching their ROV down the face of the dam to investigate targets we located with our sonar scans

Our sonar setup, mounted to a PVC cart I built to roll down the 45 degree face of the dam

Ken LaBry, chief scientist at UAI, running the sonar

Matthew Cook of SeaView Systems taking care of our boat while the sonar is over the side

Catalina Sea Ranch, 2018

Beginning in June of 2018 West Coast ROV was contracted by Catalina Sea Ranch to provide monthly and annual inspections of their aquaculture facility as well as on-demand services such as finding and retrieving objects dropped to the seafloor and assisting with maintenance operations.

The videos below show a visit from a huge school of Yellowtail tuna who always stop by for a visit with the ROV when we're out at the Ranch and some interesting work using the grabber on our vehicle down on the seafloor.

Canal Siphon Investigations, Solano Irrigation District, May 2017

Working with SeaView Systems as subcontractors to Global Diving and Salvage, we conducted visual and sonar inspections of three large siphons, the longest of which was around 6,500 feet long. After the field work, West Coast ROV processed the sonar data to provide 3D point-cloud imagery of the siphon pipes/tunnels and calculations of the depth and total volume of sediment present in them.

GreenValleySiphon entry to 1850.png
Oroville Dam Sonar Investigation, February 2017

Remember how Oroville Dam almost collapsed in the winter of 2016/2017 due to the torrential rains we had? Lake Oroville filled up with so much water that it overflowed, quickly eroding first the dirt hillside below the emergency spillway, then the concrete face of the dam itself below the main spillway gates. When work began in late February, 2017 to asses the damage and begin repairs, who do you think got the call to perform high-resolution imaging of the dam's spillway gates and other still-submerged structures? DRS Marine, one of the prime contractors involved in the project, called Ken LaBry of UAI, of course, who then called SeaView and West Coast ROV for backup. It was an amazing experience to be part of the literal army of workers who showed up to begin the work of fixing the giant mess on and below Oroville Dam.


This tiny-looking structure is the main spillway gates where a bunch of pictures below were taken. 


This picture was taken the morning they finally closed the spillway gates and we got the first good look at the damage. Note that the spillway is still wet between the gates at the top and the hole in the hillside below.


Here we are, up close and personal on the lake side of the spillway gates! There are metal gates at the end of these chambers, on the other side is a 770 foot drop, and we can clearly see that water is still flowing out of them! The seals around the edges of the gates got shredded by all that water flow, so the gates are now leaky. DRS Marine divers are in the water under the boat at the far end of the gate structure stuffing rags into the gaps around the edges of the gates by hand to stop the water flow.


Ken and Matthew again, and a cool guy from DRS Marine whose name I can't remember. Note the rubble teetering at the top of the spillway walls

Me and the spillway area from a distance.

Note the size of the boat still tucked into one of the gate chambers for a sense of the scale.

Matthew from SeaView and the gates.


Ken running the sonar, peering into one of the gate chambers. Happily, our investigation showed that the gates and surrounding structures were all in excellent condition


We also imaged the diversion dam at Thermalito on our first day at Oroville, a smaller but important structure downstream from the main dam.

Peeking out over one of the gates at Thermalito.  It's *only* a ~150 foot drop on the other side.

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