Hydrographic Surveyors Key to Defining Mining Resources through Survey Work

Rodney Norman, Royal IHC, Project Coordinator Blue Nodules
On 1 February 2016 a European consortium launched a new Horizon 2020 project: Blue Nodules. This project addresses the challenge of creating a viable and sustainable value chain to retrieve polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor. It will develop and test new, highly automated and sustainable technologies for deep-sea mining that exert minimal pressure on the environment. The project presents economical potential but also involves various challenges from a technological, environmental and professional perspective. Find out more in this interview with Blue Nodules project coordinator Rodney Norman, director marine mining of Royal IHC. What is the significance of deep-sea mining for your... (read more)
2016-03-01 11:08:23

USBL in Dam Survey by ROV

An USBL underwater positioning system is the ideal solution for dam survey by ROV, providing easy and fast set-up and accurate 3D measurement for traceability, but not all USBL systems can meet the demands of this environment. PLSM (France) has developed a light and polyvalent system for use in shallow water down to 300 metres. The author describes AQUA-METRE R300 and some typical results. In France, ten-yearly dam inspection is mandatory for medium to large dams. There are about three hundred dams between the Pyrenees and Brittany. The main goal is to survey the submerged concrete wall in order to... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Qatar Petroleum

The single buoy mooring (SBM) digital radio shutdown system is the latest ‘state-of-the-art’ digital radio communication system/network, consisting of a fixed radio base station installation at Halul Island (State of Qatar). It operates with a mix of handheld, mobile and fixed mobile radio units provided to authorised personnel for the berthing of oil tankers prior to oil loading operations at SBM-1 and SBM-2 buoys.<P> The main purpose of thissystem is two-way reliable voice communication. A second purpose is to enable authorised personnel to remotely shutdown the turbine oil pump facilities for safety reasons, should an emergency occur during oil loading... (read more)
2008-04-02 12:00:00

Geophysical Surveys in West Africa

Detailed marine geophysical surveys are considered a key element in the process of development and construction of new offshore ports and load-out facilities. Specifically, seismic data constitute an essential part as they can reveal many unknown factors. Due to the challenging environment in West Africa and the often very shallow water depths, it requires a flexible and versatile approach from a survey company. This article gives an overview of how this type of project is approached and some of the lessons we have learnt when performing marine geophysical surveys in shallow water in West Africa.<P> West Africa is rich inmineral... (read more)
2009-01-05 12:00:00

Inevitable Truths of Operating AUVs

A Manufacturer’s Perspective on Routine AUV Utilisation
Earlier this year, the US Navy deployed a Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The tragic disappearance was thought to have occurred over 1,600 kilometres offshore Perth in a remote and very deep region of the Indian Ocean. The AUV was launched 25 times in order to collect over 850 square kilometres of seafloor imagery (Figure 1). As a result, authorities successfully discounted the area as the final resting place of those on board. On-going media coverage offered a glimpse into what AUV operations are really like day-to-day, dive-to-dive. But deploying an... (read more)
2014-12-15 01:55:48

Surveying Japanese Inland and Coastal Waters

Technical Records Set for Lidar Penetration
In March 2015, Leica Geosystems conducted a series of demonstration surveys in Japan with the HawkEye III Airborne Topographic Bathymetric Lidar system. This demonstration was designed to prove the depth performance and general capabilities of the HawkEye III system in Japanese waters. It ambitiously targeted 13 geographically separated areas ranging from land-locked rivers, coastal estuaries and coastal strips to offshore islands and coral reefs. The HawkEye III successfully demonstrated its capabilities, collecting seamless datasets in diverse coastal and river environments as well as setting new records for depth penetration for both the HawkEye III deep sensor and the Chiroptera II shallow... (read more)
2016-04-04 10:16:39

The New Role of Hydrography in the 21st Century

Evolving from Charts to Geospatial Data
Traditionally, hydrographic data was used mainly for nautical charts. Hydrographic surveys are costly, and data should be used beyond navigation. Some have developed centralised hydrographic databases, but their only purpose is to produce charts. Hydrographic data should be used for other purposes too. Hydrographic data is the foundation for building a maritime data management system, in the framework of a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure for broader use. Visionary organisations are already evolving their traditional roles and jumping onto the ‘Big Data’ ship and connecting to the World through web services. The use of Hydrographic data is evolving for good. When... (read more)
2014-05-02 02:15:19

Sandwave Migration

Seabed mobility and shallow-water swathe sounding
The use of swathe systems in a highly mobile, shallow-water environment poses significant problems for the hydrographic surveyor. Several physical factors encountered when gathering swathe data are introduced and described as contributing to degradation of the accuracy model. The extent of influence by physical/environmental characteristics and the tidal solution on bathymetry must be understood so that methods to obtain accurate bathymetry suitable for safe navigation, seabed migration modelling and future research projects can be employed by the surveyor in real time. Lack of space prevents detailed discussion of such factors here, but this by no means reduces their importance, briefly... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

Surveying the Florida Reef

The Florida Reef became a menace to shipping in the 1500s when the Spanish discovered that the safest way home for their New World gold and silver was north through the Florida Straits. With the Cay Sal and Bahama banks to starboard, the reef, arcing along the Florida Keys, to port, and the Gulf Stream on their stern, first the treasure fleets and later thousands of European ships made the passage through the ‘New Bahama Channel’. As the territory west of the Appalachians and then west of the Mississippi was settled, American ships began to fill the Straits as well,... (read more)
2012-07-26 03:14:24

3D Sonar Technology

The journey from oil and gas to homeland security and back again
Since its introduction many years ago, survey sonar has evolved steadily, but is still a difficult and non-intuitive survey tool, requiring large amounts of processing to arrive at the most basic end product. Initially, anyone wanting to survey or inspect the underwater environment was limited to single beam echo-sounders, in simple terms one-dimensional sonar, yielding very little quantifiable data. These in turn were developed into mechanically scanned sonars, and subsequently into today’s high performance multi-beam and forward looking sonars which are the back-bone of the survey industry. Even the very best commercially available multi-beam sonar delivers only 2 dimensional data... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00
Search Filter