Ruggedized Laptop Computers are almost a necessity if you are going to utilize a magnetometer, sidescan sonar, bottom profiler, or if you are conducting a salvage operation.  These computers are “ruggedized” or “hardened” to withstand harsh environments such as encountered at sea.  I have seen standard laptops reduced to a useless paperweight in just over a year from used in a survey boat, just from exposure to the environment of the ocean air.  Most of the modern remote sensing equipment interfaces with a computer and records the data on the laptop for later playback and review.  The software also requires that a GPS be interfaced to the computer to proved position information.  Most surveys also require the use of a grid or lane approach to cover a specific area, and software is available for that purpose, which also requires the use of a computer.  Often, a second monitor is very useful in order for the pilot to navigate and follow the search grid while the technician views the remote sensing equipment display.