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.
Today’s shallow water multibeam echosounder are capable of efficiently delivering bathymetry, backscatter and water column data types. To benefit from this technology, Hydrographers are having to adjust their data collection and data processing workflows to deliver detailed and accurate information in an effective manner to a wider variety of End Users.
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In 2011, oceanographer Glen Gawarkiewicz sat in the back row at a National Science Foundation (NSF) public hearing about the upcoming installation of a vast and long-term ocean monitoring system, called the Ocean Observatories Initiative Pioneer Array (Pioneer Array). The chosen location, right off the coastal waters of New England, meant the array could interfere with fishing and shipping, and there was concern that the science generated by the array could be used to force fisheries closures. The people whose livelihoods depend on this ocean region were at the hearing and they meant to be heard. “There was a very crowded room in the public library in New Bedford,” recalls Gawarkiewicz, “and there were some contentious moments.” He was sitting next to a woman he hadn’t yet met, and Gawarkiewicz remembers one of them said to the other, “There’s got to be a better way than this.”
ADCPs On Wave Gliders Hold Promise of a New Solution
Near real time data processing facilitates the success of pioneering autonomous survey operations in support of national charting surveys of the USA.
Whether it is an ASV, AUV, ROV or indeed a sea mammal such as a seal or dolphin, all instrumented vehicle types need various sensors to meet and maintain design criteria or operational demands. The challenge for us as manufacturers is to match those demands with sensor designs and packages that meet varying specifications of size, weight, material, depth, power constraints and budgets without making each requirement a “one off” (as there are of course additional cost and time implications associated with a ‘one off’).
Each Mission Specialist system contains exactly the components and configuration needed for its mission.
Unmanned vehicle technology, once considered a scientific experiment itself, is now a reliable tool for researchers to conduct scientific experiments and gain knowledge in ways that were previously unavailable. The outcome is often faster and more efficient data collection, saving operators both time and money. Confidence inand adoption of the technology in many markets including defense, security, aquaculture, offshore energy, hydrography, and oceanographic research, continue to increase as the technology matures.
A submerged dock lays off the Fort McHenry National Monument, in the Patapsco River, Baltimore MD—and a well-known marked hazard zone. The depth surrounding the object is navigable at depths greater than 30 feet. Just over the hazard, depths are only 5-8 feet, making it impossible for a traditional survey vessel to navigate. We chose this particular location to demonstrate how an ultra-high resolution multibeam sonar can be used in conjunction with a small autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) to obtain a more complete survey of a complex and challenging area.
Technology is moving fast with always the “more accurate, cheaper, smaller” dictate. Three years ago, SBG Systems has been able to integrate all those wishes into a single unit: the Ekinox Inertial Navigation System (INS). In 2015, SBG Systems took another step forward with the release of the Apogee, the most accurate inertial navigation system based on the robust and cost-effective MEMS technology. Without export restriction, the Apogee stands as a game changer on the hydrographic market. It provides an unmatched Performance-Price-Size ratio and sets up new standard in the industry. Let’s see how MEMS-based inertial sensors can be used in some of the latest technical solutions dedicated to hydrographic surveyors.
The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and Teledyne CARIS™ conducted two important sea trials in July and December of 2015. The July trial was to test the capabilities of CARIS Onboard™ for near real-time processing, while the December trial was focused on remote access to the products created through a remote survey operation.
From surface to seafloor, Valeport innovative profilers are shaping the future of surveying
Established in 1997, Bibby HydroMap provide a range of hydrographic, geophysical, geotechnical and ROV survey services to clients mainly from the oil and gas, offshore renewables and subsea cables industries. Their fleet of dedicated survey vessels work throughout the UK and Northern Europe, are permanently mobilised with high-specification survey equipment from industry leading suppliers.
In the following article Teledyne Marine Imaging introduces its Hydrographic solutions and capabilities, analyses the rapid development of Hydrography over time and highlights the key Teledyne Marine markets, supported by case stories. Finally, we will describe the future trends within hydrography.
If you look closely at any U.S. coastal nautical chart, you’ll likely find that the areas closest to the shore, shoals, and rocks do not have updated depth measurements. In many areas, safety concerns prohibit the use of NOAA ships or launches to survey shallow depths. In many areas, the water is too murky to be mapped with the airborne lidar systems used in clear waters. Now, however, charting those shallow areas is about to get safer, thanks to recent purchases of small, commercial off-the-shelf, unmanned survey vessels.