IHO Celebrates World Hydrography Day 2020

The focus of this year’s World Hydrography Day is the key role that hydrography can play in supporting autonomous technologies. This includes aerial, surface and underwater survey drones as well as autonomous ships. World Hydrography Day is an opportunity for the IHO and its 93 Member States to reaffirm their commitment to raising awareness of the importance of hydrography, and to continue to coordinate their activities. Autonomous technologies are nothing new: mariners have been using systems such as autopilots for decades. More recently, unmanned vessels such as wave gliders have helped make advances in ocean sciences. We are however witnessing increasing levels of... (read more)
2020-06-19 03:13:37

COVID-19 and Deep Ocean Research

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, several researchers around the world have initiated investigations to understand the correlation between virus dispersion and environmental factors such as climate change and the anthropogenic impact in the modification of ecosystems, as well as the risk of new pandemics appearing. In this scientific field – so relevant to humanity – it is necessary to take into account oceanic research and consider investigations in the deep areas of the oceans. In the abyssal zones of the oceans, as is well known to the oceanographic community, thermohaline circulation takes place, which slowly renews the water masses in all the... (read more)
2020-06-18 02:12:16

MEMS Technology – Applications in the Field of Hydrography

Even in the difficulty times facing society today, training does not stop, as demonstrated by the 'MEMS Technology – Presentation and Hydrographic Application' conference held by video conference on 26 May on the GoToMeeting platform. The conference was organized by SBG Systems, Institute Nautical ITTL Luigi Rizzo di Riposto (CT), and IHS Italian Hydrographic Society. MEMS stands for Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems and indicates a technology that integrates mechanical elements, sensors, actuators and electronics located at the level of a silicon substrate.The conference was attended by many experts from the hydrographic sector: Rear Admiral Luigi Sinapi, director of the Italian Hydrographic... (read more)
2020-06-09 10:25:32

Subsea Autonomy is Moving Beyond Waypoints

Underwater an AUV Must Rely Upon its Own Sensor Network
The AUV has been the tool of choice for shallow-water MCM and EOD operations for a number of years. The coverage by popular news channels of unfortunate events, such as the MH370 tragedy, has also shown that the AUV has undisputedly become the tool of choice to carry out salvage operations at extreme depths. The AUV has no physical link to the surface and the majority of missions are still pre-programmed by a human, which can be time consuming and error prone. Missions are normally a sequence of defined waypoints where the AUV may be required to carry out certain... (read more)
2020-06-09 09:41:02

Mapping Underwater Terrain with Bathymetric Lidar

Two Similar Projects in Different Parts of the World
High-resolution bathymetric surveys support aquaculture research and increase navigational safety. In a case study, Tim Webster reports how this is done at Cape John Peninsula in Canada. In the second one, Carol Lockhart describes the project in the Kingdom of Tonga, a Polynesian archipelago comprising 169 islands that stretches across approximately 800 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean. Measuring water depth for nautical purposes dates back to ancient civilisations. As technology has evolved through the centuries, besides ship-based echo-sounding, remote monitoring and mapping of water bodies has become increasingly available via Lidar bathymetric surveys conducted by airborne systems. New coastal... (read more)
2020-06-09 09:01:41

Dutch Survey Company Selects Sea Machines Autonomy for Unmanned Hydrographic Survey Operations

Underwater survey company Deep will upgrade one of its survey vessels with a Sea Machines SM300 autonomous control system. The Sea Machines system enables remote command of the vessel, including navigation and positioning, the control of on-board auxiliaries and sensors, and ship-to-shore data flow. The vessel, operating in multiple areas of the Wadden Sea, will be commanded by personnel in the Amsterdam office. Deep will initially deploy the Sea Machines-enabled vessel for a mission to survey the Wadden Sea, a challenging shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands located north of the Netherlands. With no surveyors on board the vessel... (read more)
2020-05-25 11:06:30

Hydrographic Education During a Lockdown

Experiences in the Netherlands
On 12 March, the Dutch government decided to ‘lockdown’ all activities involving multiple persons, including education. That decision immediately affected the hydrographic institutions in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has an active four-year Cat A course in Ocean Technology at the NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences – Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz (MIWB), and a 3+3 month Cat B course at Skilltrade. Both had to cope with the lockdown in different ways due to their different set-ups and student populations. Organizational Situation After Lockdown Although education is not a ‘contact’ profession in the strict sense (or at least it shouldn’t be),... (read more)
2020-05-08 03:15:49

Fugro Maps Arctic Ocean for Norway’s MAREANO Seabed Mapping Programme

The Norwegian Hydrographic Service has awarded Fugro another hydrographic survey contract as part of the MAREANO seabed mapping programme, financed by Norway’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Environment. Fugro has completed ten surveys for the programme since 2006 and acquired over 140,000 km2 of data. This latest survey will collect high-resolution, high-density multibeam echosounder and sub-bottom data to produce seamless datasets for the Norwegian mapping programme. The fieldwork will run from June to late October this year. The survey area covers approximately 2,700km2 over Spitsbergenbanken, a large bank in the Barents Sea, in water depths ranging... (read more)
2020-04-29 10:54:50

Joining Forces to Create a Communication System for USVs

SEA-KIT International, a provider of hi-tech solutions for the maritime and research industries, is joining forces with Essex academics to create a secure and intelligent communication system for the control of unmanned surface vessels (USVs). Essex (UK)-based SEA-KIT has won funding as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) by the UK government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. The funding will help SEA-KIT to commercialize its USV offer by building bespoke vessels for its clients in the offshore energy sector who conduct surveys for offshore wind and oil and gas infrastructure. Create New Jobs Innovate UK and the University of Essex... (read more)
2020-04-21 12:18:04

What is the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System?

Imagine you’re a port pilot, responsible for the safe passage of a cargo ship that’s about the same size as an aircraft carrier. It’s the middle of the night, it’s windy and you’re contending with large waves and an outgoing tide. A stressful scenario to be sure, but happily you have the benefit of a real-time information system that gives you details about water levels, currents, salinity and weather to help you guide your vessel. That system is known as PORTS, the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System. Maritime Accidents The concept for PORTS was born following two serious maritime accidents in Tampa... (read more)
2020-04-21 10:10:19
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