About Us
A Short Description of Ross Laboratories, Inc.

History of Ross Labs, LLC.

In 1953 the company produced the first compact depth sounder that was small enough to fit on both pleasure and commercial fishing boats. By 1969 Ross Laboratories had branched into the hydrographic survey field. Along with NOAA and Digital Equipment Corp. they helped interface the first depth digitizer to an onboard computer. This state-of-the art system for its day was installed on the NOAA ship Whiting at Norfolk, Virginia.

Constantly improving and listening to our clients, the first multi-channel sweep systems were delivered to the Canadian Dept. of Public Works and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Portland District in 1977. These systems dramatically increased the degree of bottom detail and information that could be collected in a very short time. Today our upgraded systems are available on a small 25 foot (8m) boat that can be trailered for fast response to shoaling areas on inland waterways.

In 1994 Ross Laboratories introduced the model 850 Smart Sounder, a paperless depth sounder that replaced conventional recording paper with an optical WORM drive which stored a digital representation of the actual analogue soundings for later review and editing. Since the development of the 850, Ross has added additional models of single beam sounders, portable and fixed mounted multi- channel sweep systems, and our WASSP-S system. Ross products have been used by surveyors around the world and in 2006 Jim Ross, company President, accepted the Export Achievement Award from the Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Services, for efforts in promoting international sales.

Company Profile

With over 60 years in the marine electronics business, Ross Laboratories has been hailed as a leader in manufacturing hydrographic systems. Our roots started in 1953 with the design and manufacture of the first compact depth sounder small enough to fit on both pleasure and commercial fishing boats. This affordable technology, no longer just the domain of Navy fleets, was applauded by fishermen as the catalyst for opening up new markets; offering information never before available to them. It also ignited our passion for serving the small business owner, marine contractors, researchers, surveyors and independents who have a need for accurate and detailed underwater information, but quite frankly also have a limited budget. Our mission is very focused: Provide quality, dependable, easy to use hydrographic systems at a low cost of ownership. In serving our customers' needs, we're really pleased to be filling a niche for those who operate in shallow waters. Our products have been used in the back channel areas along the Mississippi River, the outfall canals within New Orleans, rivers of New Brunswick, Canada and harbors world-wide. Our customer list and product reputation earned us the highly respected Export Achievement Award from the Dept. of Commerce U.S. Commercial Services. Over the years we've enjoyed working closely with our customers, from NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, & Research Institutes to small surveying firms, contractors and scientists, to develop technology and build-in functionality that will benefit you: High degree of bottom detail, information collected in a very short time, system integration, and durability. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Ross Laboratories Inc. operates in a 15,000 square foot manufacturing facility on the shores of Lake Union. Moored near the office is the company's 75 foot research vessel the “Golden Dolphin” which is used for testing new products and demonstrating equipment to potential customers. Nearby Puget Sound provides over 900 feet (275m) of water allowing an ideal proving ground for new equipment. Grown from humble beginnings, we're proud of our sustainability in the marine industry and our ability to manufacture and provide underwater sonar systems including side scan sonar, sub-bottom profilers, single beam survey sounders, multi-channel sweep systems, multi-beam sonar, and an all in one survey solution package to meet the wide range of needs and working conditions of our clients. Before any product is shipped, our team has fully tested and calibrated every system to ensure that it meets our high quality and reliability standard. If it has the ROSS name on it, you get the assurance that we guarantee our product and back it with our warranty!

I started working for Ross Laboratories in 1964.  I have been very lucky to see all the changes in the Industry. I believe Ross Laboratories has been a leader for many of the years that I have with them.
  -Dean Graddon, Retired

Our Customers

     GSA Approved Contractor

Since 2000 Ross Laboratories, Inc. has been an approved GSA contractor providing high quality products to all types of government agencies. Ross now has a partnership with Armstrong Marine, also a GSA contractor who together can deliver you a complete turn-key survey solution.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The USACE has been using ROSS echosounders and sweep systems to help collect better surveys since 1977. These systems dramatically increased the degree of bottom detail and information that could be collected in a very short time. Today our upgraded systems are available on a small 25 foot (8m) boat that can be trailered for fast response to shoaling areas on inland waterways.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association

Ross Laboratories, Inc. helped interface the first depth digitizer to an onboard computer. This state-of-the art system for its day was installed on the NOAA ship Whiting at Norfolk, Virginia.

U.S. Coast Guard

First started work in 1960 for small 44 foot Search and Rescue (SAR) boats.  Over the years have built up to the larger 270 foot cutters.

U.S. Navy

Started selling products to U.S. Navy during Vietnam War for river patrol boats.


Partial Customer List

Click here to see a partial list of customers served by Ross Laboratories.