3D Sonar mapping system on board the Cefas Endeavour

Cefas, an internationally renowned aquatic scientific research and consultancy centre, makes an outstanding contribution to securing healthy and sustainable marine and freshwater environments.

As the UK's largest and most diverse applied marine science centre, Cefas helps to shape and implement policy through the delivery of respected and renowned science and collaborative relationships that span the EU, UK government, non-governmental organisations, research centres and industry.

The requirement & Solution

sonar-casestudy.jpg Cefas approached the market seeking a supplier of high-end computer platforms to run their 3D sonar mapping system onboard the Cefas Endeavour, for which Amplicon were chosen.

Amplicon were also asked to supply products to upgrade ageing KVM over IP hardware which enabled information to be shared and controlled between the labs.

The Amplicon engineering team designed a solution to provide Cefas with Ventrix 4004 Industrial PCs with a redundant RAID array on the hard disk drives, multiple serial, firewire, USB and video outputs, and a future-proofed OS license for Windows Vista running in a Windows XP environment.

The Ventrix 4000 series is ideal for this type of high expansion and high power application. The quantity and variety of expansion ports needed were part of the systems primary function as a Sonar mapping computer, with built-in data redundancy highlighting its mission-critical nature.

The KVM requirement was addressed by replacing 50% of the units with a newer model, X50 USB allowing them to take advantage of USB connectivity around the vessel.

Further system improvements were delivered by supplying replacement X-DV/T & X-KVM/R units for the older units. In order to design a suitable solution to meet the customer’s application, Amplicon worked with several different engineers involved with the project, so clarity of information was paramount. This was not an easy task as the Cefas requirement for the vessel was continually evolving to meet new scientific criteria.


Amplicon’s high-quality product portfolio was the perfect match to the Cefas requirements and after successfully delivering an initial system as “proof of concept” Cefas placed an order for a further six systems to run laboratory-based applications aboard the vessel.

Amplicon’s technical expertise and support throughout the life of the project were also critical to ensure a successful outcome for Cefas.

The Cefas Endeavour is currently making use of the Amplicon hardware on a daily basis.

Why Amplicon?

Amplicon have been successful in supplying marine solutions over a number of years and its experience and track record was demonstrated in this project.

Amplicon’s competitive package resulted in Cefas, an organisation with a long history of using industrial computers and data communications hardware, selecting Amplicon products to replace their mission-critical survey systems.