The National Society of Professional Surveyors has, as its first pledge of a professional land surveyor “To give the utmost of performance”. While this mantra provides a continued mentorship to the professional as they carry out their geo-scrutiny it also acts as a guiding principal for those of us behind the scenes that deliver the tools, training and support of technology.
When using dense, high-precision survey data, the method for management and visualization of the data can have a large impact on the final decision making process. This is an important factor when accurate shape reconstruction is required, as there are significant trade-offs with traditional approaches. For applications where it is critical to know exactly the shape and size of surveyed objects, a high-resolution 3D mesh is likely the best option.
There is no doubt that sonar has revolutionized the way in which we are able to map the seafloor. This huge advancement, however came with one key drawback — the introduction of ‘noise’.
EvoLogics GmbH from Berlin, Germany, recently introduced “Poggy” - a new bionic autonomous underwater vehicle that uses Fin-Ray® technology.
Hydrographic-based projects focusing on Offshore Wind Farms (OWF) pose unique challenges at every stage of the survey workflow. Acquisition requires integration of multiple sensor types, and project requirements often specify concurrent data collection posing installation, timing, and positioning challenges. Post-processing requires users to process, review, and if necessary, correct enormous multi-variant data sets. Surveyors continue to push for increased automation in these and other related processes. Furthermore, data fusion across these temporally and spatially variant data sets is critical for proper analysis in order to aid decision-making. Throughout the process, stakeholders need to communicate to each other, even if they have different backgrounds and/or project objectives. The question then is how can the surveyor best communicate with stakeholders, facilitate decisions, and then feed adjustments back into the survey workflow? The answers are found within the innovations of the QPS workflow brought about through the merger of complementary technologies both internal and external to the company itself. This working environment was created to be seamless throughout every stage of the project lifecycle. It is powerful enough to handle complex integrations and data acquisition, automated to reduce mistakes and yet simple at critical steps to provide familiarity and clear understanding for stakeholders. This paper introduces the common survey requirements throughout the various stages of an OWF lifecycle, and derives critical success factors necessary to meet them from real client case studies. Through automation, quality integration/acquisition, reductions in human error, and intuitive comprehension, the QPS workflow is uniquely designed to achieve these success factors. Regardless of a person’s background, QPS solutions are aligned to work together to enhance the capacity of all team members involved in a wind farm project by facilitating fluent workflows through all project stages.
Developing technologies that set new standards within the marine industry takes time. Once in use, however, a robust new technology often proves superior under several parameters. This is the case of the Danish innovative company Copenhagen Subsea A/S. Founded in 2014, Copenhagen Subsea A/S develops and manufactures four sizes of electrical rim-diven thrusters for the most commonly used subsea vehicles in the marine industry: ROVs, manned submersibles and AUVs. Customers include companies and institutions within both the industrial segment and universities.
General Dynamics Mission Systems has a history of success in the development and delivery of mission-critical solutions for the undersea domain. With Bluefin Robotics’ legacy of design and developmental know-how and General Dynamics’ extensive engineering reach and customer intimacy, a new generation of autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) was created to meet dynamic operational needs in challenging underwater environments. Most notably, General Dynamics is the systems integrator for the U.S. Navy’s Knifefish Surface Mine Counter Measure program of record. A highly advanced derivative of our commercial Bluefin-21 medium-class UUV, Knifefish autonomously searches, detects, classifies, and identifies buried, bottom, and volume mines in high-clutter environments in a single pass.
With tidal ranges up to 14m and extremely high sediment loads Bristol Port was an ideal location to test Valeport’s new SWiFTplus profiler with an integrated optical sensor, in this particular case turbidity.
In April 2017, CARIS Onboard™ Product Manager, Travis Hamilton, was onsite with the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) to conduct a CARIS Onboard installation and trial. JAMSTEC is an organization committed to supporting ocean research and development activities which covers a broad spectrum of marine science and technology. With several institutions located across the country, their mandate is to contribute to the creation of a holistic understanding of global concepts surrounding the ocean.
The implementation of autonomous technology in hydrography has seen steady evolution for 20+ years. The initial developments focused on deploying large diameter (0.5 to 1m) vehicles (AUV’s) at great depths. AUV’s have quickly proven to be cost-effective solutions for obtaining high resolution bathymetry, imagery and photographic images in environments where preceding technology fell short. The most recent innovation surge is focusing on autonomous surface vessels (ASV’s) where organizations have found great gains to be made by removing personnel from the vessel altogether. Since 1997, QPS has provided options for the user to minimize the interactions with the surveyor and the system by automating key functionality. The combination of QINSy’s automation and Qimera’s data processing innovations (Wilson et al., 2018) provides a tightly integrated solution for organizations to embark on this new era of Hydrography.
EvoLogics GmbH from Berlin, Germany, designs and manufactures underwater communication and positioning systems as well as smart robotic solutions. The company’s core technologies stem from bionic concepts that fuse state-of-the-art engineering with the best ideas found in nature.
Offshore oil and gas platforms are typically located in harsh environments. Think of the North Sea between the UK and Norway, the South China Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Severe winter storms, typhoons, and hurricanes are commonplace. The offshore industry is well practiced at dealing with such extremes of nature but relies upon the provision of precise meteorological and oceanographic data to do so. Understanding the magnitude and complexities of ocean waves around offshore structures is crucial for the safe berthing of support vessels, landing of helicopters, for safe working of men and machines on deck, and for confirmation that operational platform response parameters are within design limits. Furthermore, these data are essential for the validation of numerical models used in the structural design of offshore platforms, informing the design and management of offshore structures now and into the future.
The newly launched HYPACK® SUB-BOTTOM is a sub-bottom profiling acquisition and processing software package designed for marine geophysical, engineering & geotechnical site surveys, dredging, mining applications. It’s a simple and easy-to-use solution for most sub-bottom profiling survey requirements. Basic sub-bottom profiling acquisition & processing has been available in HYPACK for the past few years, but during the first quarter of 2017 a considerable amount of effort has been put into improving the stability, memory allocation and features of the program. This article is highlights some of new features and functionality of HYPACK® SUB-BOTTOM.
As a manufacturer, we are always striving to create products that we believe to be what the end users desire. The technology around which our lives revolve these days has had a strong influence over what we expect from products in every area of life. For instance, I have my smartphone, tablet and laptop; I have high speed access to information and data via the internet. Hardware is easily charged, memory is plentiful and expandable, quality is good and costs are reasonable. So, these are the standards I expect from the equipment I am about to use when hydrographic surveying. Valeport has led the way in sound velocity technology for more than a decade and our latest addition to the portfolio, the SWiFT SVP, was designed from the outset with customer feedback front of mind and a practical understanding of what customers actually want from an instrument.
Significant interest in autonomous and unmanned vehicles has developed within the survey community during the last few years. Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV’s) are being considered for tasks such as data gathering in waters considered too shallow for manned vehicles and in areas presenting hazardous operating conditions. Looking forward, the concept of operating a fleet of autonomous and unmanned surface vehicles, with or without manned vessels as part of the fleet, holds great promise to improve survey efficiency.