Acoustic Release Units

Product Description

The ARC-1XD ‘extended duration’ acoustic release is specifically optimized for the operation and remote recovery of large inventories of commercial fishing gear. The ARC-1 acts as a release mechanism for an anchored buoy (any anchor weight), thus eliminating surface equipment and gear from the vertical water column. It provides the operator with real-time status feedback, and then uses a very fast acting mechanism to reliably recover the payload. The ARC has been field tested, validated and used continuously since 2003, and stands as the worlds only fully-functional rope-less fishing system. The ARC-1XD is unique in that it not only prevents whale entanglements but also offers business advantages to fishermen who use it. The ARC also offers new innovation in the way gear is marked and regulators are able to track and control traps (Rope-less fisher app). 

Patent # US 7138603 B2  

Download the Brochure 


1. High reliability and tested performance:  Based on a patented fusible link mechanism with only a single moving part, the ARC-1 is very reliable.   It is the only acoustic release to be used in commercial fishing (ropeless fishing), where it has accumulated tens of thousands of release cycles.  

2. Excellent for the deployment of large instrument arrays:   The ARC-1 was originally developed for deployment of a large array of underwater acoustic detectors in the California channel islands (link to paper).  Since then. its combination of high reliability, long endurance, fast trigger action and low cost has made it a favorite for the deployment of large instrument arrays, into several hundred units in diverse locations including the Pacific Northwest, Baltic Sea and Great Lakes.

3. Efficient & Fast Acting:  ARC-1 combines simplicity and reliability with the fast action of motor or solenoid releases, offering the best of both worlds.  Unlike 'burn wire' (electric wire erosion) releases that take 10 minutes or more to actuate, the ARC-1 triggers just 10 seconds from the release command, and the trigger process itself is lightning fast at 0.002 seconds (link to video).  And unlike motorized releases with complex mechanisms and many potential failure points, the ARC-1 has only a single moving part (the lever) and no dynamic seals.

4. An investment that endures decades:  The ARC-1 is a proven, long-endurance device.  Hundreds of ARC-1 in the Australian rock lobster fishery have seen ongoing commercial service for seven years now, and are in good shape predicting a service life of well over a decade.

5. Surface control flexibility:   The ARC-1 can be triggered from a computer interface providing a view of the status and location of your entire ARC-1 inventory (STM-3), or through a simple switch operated deck box (STM-4).   


Best for Off-shore and testing

Serviceable by anyone

Every ARC-1XD can be serviced within minutes with no specials tools or knowledge required. Swapping out batteries or a broken end is easy and quick. 

Individual Release Mode

Incorporated sonar transducer allows the ARC-1XD to reply back with distance information without triggering a release using IRM (individual release mode). Also good for off-shore fishing. 

10+ year lifetime

Made from all Delrin and Titanium parts, in combination with an easy to service build, the ARC-1XD should last as long as you do. 


In-shore and near-shore 


A bit on the smaller side, this model will save space for those more crowded boats. 

Broadcast Release Mode 

Automatically trigger a release before the boat arrives on location. Great for in-shore and near-shore fishers who have only minutes between servicing their gear sets. Black-out period of 1 hour after a release to prevent pre-mature triggering when setting back in the water. 

Cost Effective

 With a different design comes a different price. The ARC-2 offers a lower price point, with the trade off of not being easy to service. 


The release is armed prior to use by inserting a small length of nickel-chromium wire which constrains a lever.

Test and Deploy

The package is now submerged next to the boat, or placed in a water filled test tub on deck. A command from the deck unit confirms contact by interrogating the unit specific serial ID via testing the device and registering the GPS location. Anchor weight is attached to the bottom while a buoy or floatation (up-to 80lbs float weight) is attached on the opposite end of the top. The instrument package is then dropped to the sea floor and the boat can proceed. 


As the boat approaches the GPS location, the deck box interrogates and ranges to the ARC-1. battery. Status information is returned and the distance measurements are used to position the boat close to or directly above the release. Even if an instrument moved, ranging allows the boat to be positioned for rapid recovery – in particular useful in heavy seas.


 Upon command, the ARC-1 energizes the nickel-chromium wire with a safe low-voltage but very high current pulse is generated from standard 9V and/or AA batteries.. It vaporizes instantly, the lever opens and the instrument package or a buoy rises to the surface. The ARC-1 also confirms released status.

How it Works

 The ARC-1XD and payload are fastened to the Pot/Trap. From the vessel the unique serial is called from a surface station (STM). From the STM, the release signal is given via a transducer either in the hull of the ship or over-the-side of the ship. The burn-wire is burnt and the lever arm releases the anchor weight. Allowing the payload/buoy to surface along with the ARC-1XD. 


Release Mechanism Up-Close

1) Computer Command
2) Sent to the Surface Station
3) Surface Station Relays electronic command into Sonar ping
4) Ping produced by tranducer attached to surface station
5) Ping reaches the ARC
6) ARC "talks back" with status update
7) Second Ping triggers release
8) High voltage but low amperage charge sent through nickel chromium burn wire
9) Burn Wire disintegrates immediately
10) Lever Arm is freed from anchor weight
11) Buoy and floats to the surface for grappling  

Technology Readiness Rating

Product - ARC-1XD    

Readiness Rating - Mission Verified 

Priority Level - Very High

Sales Rating - C.O.T.S.

Product - ARC-2XD  

Readiness Rating - Alpha

Priority Level - Very High (Primary Engineering Focus)

Sales Rating - Unavailable (Development Funding for fastback possible, please contact us )