Automated Hydrographic Surface Vehicles

Automated Hydrographic Surface Vehicles, a tool used by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, is at the forefront of innovation on an international scale. This evolving technology allows hydrographers to collect data about the sea floor thus ensuring the safety of navigation to recreational and commercial mariners in a way that is complimentary to the tools currently used.

Transcript

This project started from a collaboration with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. They came to us needing to get into tighter areas places that aren't easily surveyable via normal vessel.

Bill Jones: Electrical Engineer - SeaRobotics

Holyrood marine base. Fisheries and marine institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland

We’re here today to bring together researchers and scientist to assess the autonomous hydrographic surface vehicles, assess their use, assess the technologies on board and to develop a methodology for implementing the autonomous nature of these vessels into traditional survey techniques.

Current practice is to mount a multibeam echosounder on a much larger survey vessel, which cannot access a lot of shallow areas that still require mapping. This vessel is a two and a half meter catamaran. It is purpose built for hydrographic surveys and it can be operated remotely or autonomously.

(So I can use the joystick if I want to…. Manual mode, that’s what I want to be in when I’m on the dock.)

Graham Bondt: Hydrographer – Canadian Hydrographic Service

The challenge of this is integrating all the parts. There's a lot going on on such a small boat. So it is kind of difficult to get the weight and trim correct, and up until a few years ago, battery power didn’t exist to run this kind of a survey.

Bill Jones: Electrical Engineer - SeaRobotics

The hydrographer can input pre-planned lines into the vessel software they will then map the seabed autonomously.

Graham Bondt: Hydrographer – Canadian Hydrographic Service

These boats here what we're doing is we're trying to get the idea of captaining out of your hands. You captain to launch and recover and then while you're actually out in the water you’re surveying.

Bill Jones: Electrical Engineer - SeaRobotics

It can act as a force multiplier along side larger ships.

Graham Bondt: Hydrographer – Canadian Hydrographic Service

This vessel has about a six kilometer range allowing hydrographers to push it further and further into uncharted territory.

Damon Wolfe: Sales manager - Echo81

The hydrographic data that's collected by this vessel will be taken back to the office it will be processed and analyzed and ultimately the data that it collects will end up on a nautical chart. This technology insures the safety of navigation to recreational and commercial mariners.

Graham Bondt: Hydrographer – Canadian Hydrographic Service

Our goal is to take it to a place where it's faster, safer and you're able to get into more areas to survey than ever before.

Bill Jones: Electrical Engineer - SeaRobotics

Autonomous vehicles are being quickly adopted for many different components of ocean science. For hydrography, the technology is still in its infancy and it's just going to continue to build momentum into the future.

Graham Bondt: Hydrographer – Canadian Hydrographic Service

Special thanks to:

  • Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • SeaRobotics
  • Echo81