The Road to Autonomy: Unmanned Subsea Asset Inspection

Reducing Requirements for Manual Intervention
In 2019, Swire Seabed successfully used a novel AUV/USV solution to complete a commercial pipeline inspection campaign, surveying 175km of pipe. This involved use of a HUGIN AUV paired with the Sea-Kit Maxlimer USV. The 2019 survey campaign formed the final part of a developmental project involving Swire Seabed, EIVA, Kongsberg and Sea-Kit in which inspection work scopes were completed for Equinor. In this, emphasis was placed on the automation of survey processes, allowing remote command and control of operations. This work typifies the direction in which the industry is heading, with many survey companies now seeking to reduce requirements... (read more)
2020-10-20 08:58:57

Panagiotis Agrafiotis

Panagiotis Agrafiotis holds a doctorate in Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens as well as an MSc in Geoinformatics and an MEng diploma in Surveying Engineering. His current research focuses on image-based bathymetry mapping for shallow and deep waters using photogrammetry and machine learning techniques. His expertise includes 3D computer vision, remote sensing and machine learning. During the past 8 years, he has worked on more than 16 research projects as a member of the Lab of Photogrammetry of NTUA, the Photogrammetric Vision Lab of CUT and the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems of NTUA. He also... (read more)
2020-10-13 10:50:47

Bathymetry from UAV Imagery and Machine Learning

Improving Results with Refraction Corrections
Accurate bathymetric mapping of shallow areas is essential for a plethora of offshore activities. Through Structure from Motion (SfM) and Multiview Stereo (MVS) techniques, images can provide a low-cost alternative compared to Lidar and sonar systems while also offering important visual information. This article presents a new framework for mapping the seabed in clear and calm shallow waters for small- and large-scale surveys using aerial imagery and machine learning to correct the geometric effects of refraction on the 3D point clouds and the imagery. SfM is a photogrammetric technique for estimating 3D structures from 2D image sequences. It involves acquiring... (read more)
2020-10-13 10:42:39

Port of London Brings Latest Technology to University College London

The Port of London Authority (PLA) hydrographic department recently teamed up with Unmanned Survey Solutions (USS) to provide ground-breaking educational support to University College London’s (UCL) IHO CAT A course in Hydrographic Surveying. The PLA have supported the university for many years by providing lectures in current hydrographic techniques and equipment as well as supporting their student field projects. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the final element of this year’s support had to be conducted virtually. The PLA, in conjunction with the USS and UCL, devised a two-week schedule which incorporated a combination of manned and unmanned survey tasks to... (read more)
2020-10-13 09:53:05

Extraterrestrial Hydrography

While there is still lots of ocean mapping work to do on Earth, oceans situated elsewhere in our solar system hold plenty of mysteries too, writes Wim van Wegen in this column. The oceans on our planet remain largely an unexplored world, far from divulging many of their secrets. Seabed 2030, which is a joint project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), aims to collect all available bathymetric data in order to produce the definitive map of the world’s ocean floor by 2030. As of today (and despite many years of... (read more)
2020-10-08 08:47:41

Measuring and 3D Mapping of Sea Ice in the Arctic

Underneath the Top of the Iceberg
Sea ice is one of the most important parameters when it comes to ice-albedo feedback; in other words, the fraction of incoming solar radiation that is reflected directly back into space. Because of the grave importance of the decrease in the amount of sea ice due to the climate crisis, gaining a full understanding of its complex structure is more important than ever. Both large and small Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) have been used successfully to map the 3D structure of the underside of sea ice, but always in an experimental context. The challenge is to determine the best way... (read more)
2020-10-06 11:21:52

Jordan McManus

Jordan McManus, programmer analyst at CIDCO. Graduated in software engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2006. Specialized in physical oceanography and software development related to remote sensing and hydrographic data processing. (read more)
2020-09-29 11:06:13

Teledyne CARIS AI Software Contributes to Successful UTAS USV Mission

Teledyne CARIS, a Teledyne Technologies company, was an integral part of the illustrious team involved in the ground-breaking uncrewed offshore survey mission in the Atlantic Ocean. Teledyne CARIS’ Mira AI and CARIS Onboard software were present on the vessel to enable autonomous survey and real-time processing operations. The mission’s Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV) built by SEA-KIT mapped over 1,000 sq. kms of the ocean floor in 22 days, while being continuously monitored via satellite communications at its Remote Operations Centre in Essex, United Kingdom. A specialized team comprised of the GEBCO-Nippon Foundation Alumni Team operated the survey equipment and provided... (read more)
2020-09-11 11:38:00

Joe Avis

Joseph Avis received his BSc in Physical Geography before completing his MSc in Remote Sensing and GIS at Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK, in 2017 and 2018 respectively. His MSc thesis was about researching the impact of suspended sediment on mangrove forests through remote sensing data. In 2018, Joseph joined ARGANS as a Junior Earth Observation Scientist where he worked on a range of Earth Observation projects. Joseph has since taken on the role of Technical Lead of ARGANS Satellite Derived Bathymetry projects working with ESA and a national hydrographic agency where he manages a small production team split between Plymouth,... (read more)
2020-09-07 09:11:03

Sentinel-2 Coastal Charting Worldwide

The Hydrographers’ Final Search for an Effective SDB System
It is widely and wrongly assumed that the world’s coastal regions have been surveyed in detail by modern techniques and that the resulting nautical charts are an accurate reflection of the nature of the seabed. This optimistic approach is not shared by the world’s hydrographic offices or the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). Hydrographers have a saying: “The world is fully charted, it’s a shame that so little is surveyed”, and, one could add looking at venerable charts, so poorly surveyed. Hydrographic offices and the IHO have been looking for years to find an affordable method to fill the coastal gaps in... (read more)
2020-09-07 08:55:46
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