Satellite Derived Bathymetry Migration

From Laboratories to Chart Production Routine
Much has been said about Satellite Derived Bathymetry (SDB), but with the exception of SHOM, which led to the introduction of a number of SDB charts into the French chart series, next to nothing has been implemented within the international hydrographic community. This article aims to update readers as SDB, thanks to new generation satellites and modelling, seeing the light after going through a thirty years’ tunnel. In 2014, detailed tests and analysis conducted by government hydrographers, cartographers and recognised satellite scientists operating for a number of projects initiated by the European Space Agency, the WWF and other stakeholders, were completed,... (read more)
2015-10-12 04:09:41

The Drifters

“Although the Currents of the Ocean form a most important part of hydrography, yet it is only since the introduction of chronometers, and of celestial observations for the longitude at sea, (that is, not much more than forty years ago,) that a competent idea of their [currents] direction and force, in any kind of detail, could be obtained.” Thus wrote Major James Rennell in 1820 in the opening lines of his posthumously published (1832) An Investigation of the Currents of the Atlantic Ocean. Although the existence of oceanic currents had been known since the time of Columbus, the inability of... (read more)
2014-05-19 02:21:58

High-resolution Sonar for Engineering

Integrating Multi-beam and Inertial Navigation
In the event of an incident or inclement weather such as a hurricane, an engineer may be required to assess the situation of any subsea structure. Here, the ability to produce quick, accurate and dimensionally correct survey images in an easy to read format is imperative to enable any remedial action such as vessel position, lifting, deployment of ROVs, safe working areas and diving operations. The following ROV project was undertaken at a depth of approximately 80 metres (262 feet) on an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico (Eugene Island block 338 oil field) where there are several disused... (read more)
2012-04-19 04:09:56

Choosing the Right Sonar Imaging System for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Multi Aperture Sonar - a Low-logistics Alternative to SAS
Underwater vehicle operators have to make a choice when deciding on a sonar imaging system to integrate into their systems. The decision could result in a trade-off, with a choice to be made between achieving high levels of range and resolution, and power and weight budgets. The decision made can impact the value of the subsea survey, classifying and mapping operations. But does it always have to be a trade-off?  What is a Multiple Aperture Sonar? In multi-aperture sonar (MAS), the dynamically focused multibeam input from 32 elements is used to extend the focus along the whole swath. Multiple apertures... (read more)
2019-01-29 08:25:14

Understanding Deep-sea Minerals and Ecosystems

Ifremer’s Explorations and Research
France and Ifremer have had a long involvement in the discovery and study of deep-sea mineral resources and their associated ecosystems. With a rather unique position in the marine research landscape, Ifremer is actively involved in the deep sea, both as a contractor with the ISA and as an integrated marine science research institute. The HERMINE 2017 exploration cruise on the French polymetallic sulphides exploration contract is an example of combined mineral exploration and scientific investigations. In the seventies, France was amongst the pioneer nations that discovered the metal-bearing hydrothermal sources and explored the polymetallic nodule deposits in the Clarion... (read more)
2018-10-09 10:08:57

Hydrographic Data Science

The Art and Craft of Making Useful Hydrography
We are seeing the introduction and application of automated technologies everywhere that supplant the common and accepted ways of doing jobs, writes Paul Cooper. Indeed, the pages of Hydro International are often dominated by examples of such applications, and most of us can think of concrete situations or comparisons between ‘then and now’. Modernisation and new thinking are dramatically changing the way hydrography is collected, processed and made available to users. As the focus is shifting from data collection to data analysis, hydrographic data scientists are becoming increasingly important. When I reported on board at the Naval Oceanographic Office in 1971, we had just... (read more)
2018-01-09 08:44:12

Robert Ballard: Exploring Human History Lost Beneath the Sea

Manned and unmanned underwater vehicles have been used for many years to explore the hidden features of the deep ocean. Dr Robert D. Ballard is an oceanographer most noted for his deep-ocean explorations for underwater archaeology. Ballard is best known for his discovery of the legendaryTitanicand underwater explorations of theBismarck,LusitaniaandBritannic. Hydrointernationalasks him about his experience and best practices when setting up explorations for human history lost beneath the sea.<P>     Please introduce yourself to our readers. I am an oceanographer who spent 30 years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) where I studied ‘Plate tectonics and the volcanic,... (read more)
2008-07-04 12:00:00


From data acquisition to ENC production
Quality Positioning Services BV (QPS) based in Zeist, The Netherlands is an independent software design company specialising in integrated navigation and positioning software systems, and electronic chart production tools. Founded in 1986, QPS initially provided positioning and navigation consultancy services to the Offshore Oil & Gas Industry. Since 1995 the main activity of the company has been focused on system integration and the development of software systems used for hydrographic surveying, seafloor mapping, portable pilot units and ENC production. In December 2000 QPS merged activities with HITT (Holland Institute of Traffic Technology), a developer of software solutions for use in... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

High-resolution Magnetic Target Survey

Harnessing the power of three-axis total-field magnetic gradient
Magnetic surveying is a common methodology for small-object detection applications such as UXO clearance, pipeline location and archaeology. Now gradiometers using Overhauser technology are doing the job faster and better by directly measuring the analytic signal - a high-resolution data form that is ideal for resolving small magnetic features and eliminating the unwanted effects of geology and solar interference. Magnetometers have long been used to locate small, buried ferrometallic objects in all varieties of marine environments. Quantum total-magnetic-field sensors based on the well-known proton or the more recent and powerful Overhauser technology have made the acquisition of stable, good quality,... (read more)
2008-01-01 01:00:00

No More Spatial ­Misinterpretation Using Different Technologies

Capturing an Entire Maltese Islands’ Territory
Malta, the smallest European Union state, has carried out a country-wide hydrographic survey which was initiated in Q1 2012 and completed in Q4 of the same year. Aimed at acquiring baseline information that satisfies a number of key National and European Directives including the Water Framework Directive, the central Mediterranean state took the ambitious step of employing different technologies within one project in order to ensure compliance. An inability to collect base physical data on which to build reliable thematic environmental data would not only make Malta more exposed to various environmental pressures due to poorly informed policy decisions, but... (read more)
2013-01-18 02:49:01
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