The use of Remotely Operated Vehicles for Hydrographic Survey


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By Sander Terwee, Sales Engineer Geometius bv

Remotely operated boats offer convenience for hydrographic surveyors conducting shallow water inshore bathymetric surveys. Oceanscience Z-Boat 1800 offers a “turn key” solution and is particularly suited for fast and convenient volume surveys in industrial water storage ponds, tailing ponds, construction sites or hazardous locations. Instead of mobilizing a manned boat for a small survey area, simply launch the Z- boat and start surveying immediately. A single operator can conduct a survey at a much lower cost than a full survey crew. In addition, safety is maintained by not having personnel on the water.

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  • Introduction Sander Terwee, Sales Engineer at Geometius.
    Geometius a trading company and is mainly known for the Trimble distributorship in the Benelux. But besides Trimble we do a lot more Marine applications and one of them is the Z-Boat from Oceanscience. We are also present at the exhibition (hall 3) and the boat is on our stand so you are all invited to come and visit us and have a look at the boat in “real life”.
  • Oceanscience is a comany that is mainly involved in development of oceanographic and hydrographic equipment. Based in the US.
    Major products are remotely-controlled instrumentation for different applications like Bathymetric Survey, Acoustic Doppler current measurements, environmental monitoring and so on.
    NOAA = National Oceanic and Atmosferic Administration(scientific research)
  • Principle of Remote Hydrographic Surveying
    Echosunder (single beam) + GPS (DGPS or RTK tidal corrected) or Robotic Total Station
    RC (Remote Control) + data link
    Bathymetric map
  • So why Remote Surveying ? It’s basicaly this 3 reasons.
    As hydrographic Surveyors we all know that mobilizing a survey boat is a hassle and can be time consuming.
    Obviously with a remote operated boat there is a lot less mobilization involved. Sensors are fitted and interfaced and it’s ready to deploy at any time.
    Also safety can be an issue, there are circumstances where you would rather not have people on the water.
    Flexibily > different sensors for different type of applications.
  • Now if we look at remote operated survey boats we see is that there’s a lot of Remote Operated Survey boats out there. The concept of a Remote opreated survey boat is also certainly not new. As a matter of fact we developped one ourselves a couple of years ago, which we see here on the left hand site (“Minimetius”).
    Now what happens is that usually these solutions do not really exceed the prototype stage, so to speak. It takes a longe time and a lot of effort before you have what we call a “finished product”.
    If you want to build a boat that is suitable for many different users and different applications it needs to be versatile, it needs to perform well in different conditions (hence not to small, not to big), it needs to be rugged and so on and so forth.
  • The Z-Boat has gone through this whole process of development. And as you see, this took over 10 years time.
    Nowadays with the Z-Boat it’s fair to say that we have a “finished product”, a “turn key solution”.
  • When we talk about “turn key” solution then this is what we mean.
    Easy to transport, either in a box or in a car (1800 is the length of the boat >> you can see it fits in the back of an ordinary station wagon). It is versatile, in this case there is a moonpool fitted to suit different types of sensors.
    Easy to deploy, and basically ready to use !
    Also there’s two versions. One for bathymetric surveys (single engine), that travels at about 2 meter/second. And a double engine version (High Speed), to be used if more power is required. For instance for crossing fast flowing rivers, for ADCP measurements.
  • Communications is a crucial part of the concept.
    We have the Remote Control unit that actually steers the boat, operating on an ultrahigh radio frequency link.
    We have de data communication link, that can either be a (longe range) bluetoooth link or radio link.
    A Wi-Fi link can be convinient to be able to program have remote access to the user interfaces of the equipment
  • Schematical it looks like this (CCM = Control & Communication Module)
    At the end of the line we have the data acquisition software which can be any type of software depending on the requirements or the users experience.
  • Other sensors that can be fiited in the boat.
    We mentioned ADCP’s before but you can also think of CTD’s or Side Scan Sonar.
  • CTD measurements (Oceanographic research)
  • Bridge survey in Minnesota and one in Galgary, Canada
    these areas are too deep to wade but too shallow for a manned boat so the survey of a relatively small area like this takes ages
  • Coal mine in Indonesia
    using the 33/200kHz CEESCOPE system to get a good depth reading
  • Coal mine in Indonesia
  • The use of Remotely Operated Vehicles for Hydrographic Survey

    1. 1. Remote Hydrographic Surveying
    2. 2. The Oceanscience Group • Established in 1998 • 25 to 30 employees • Factory in San Diego, USA • Worldwide distributor network • Example customers: -United States Geological Service -NOAA -Dredging companies -Mining companies
    3. 3. Remote Hydrographic Surveying
    4. 4. Remote Hydrographic Surveying • Convenience - easy mobilization - difficult accessible locations • Safety (no people on the water) - hazardous locations • Flexibility
    5. 5. Remote Operated Survey Boats
    6. 6. The Z-Boat
    7. 7. Z-Boat 1800 • “turn key” solution • easy to deploy • flexible configuration • versatile • two versions: - Z-Boat 1800 (2 m/s) - Z-Boat 1800HS (5 m/s)
    8. 8. Z-Boat 1800 Hydrographic Survey Grade System
    9. 9. Z-Boat 1800 Blu or etoo th Ra (90 dio 0M Hz ) 2,4 GH z Communications
    10. 10. Z-Boat 1800 Z-Boat Data Flow Overview
    11. 11. Other sensors ADCP Discharge measurements CTD
    12. 12. Applications • Shallow water
    13. 13. Applications • Difficult accessible locations
    14. 14. Applications • Hazardous locations
    15. 15. Applications • Industrial waters / tailings- and storage ponds
    16. 16. Applications
    17. 17. Potential applications Side scan sonar Multibeam echosounder
    18. 18. Developments Autopilot
    19. 19. KEY CONSIDERATIONS • Easy to deploy, ready to use system • REAL TIME data on shore laptop (standard software packages) • Vessel guidance aided by real time display • Maximum range about 1.5 km • Low draft / high power • No people on the water • Versatile “turn key” solution
    20. 20. Questions? ?? ? Questions FAQ: ? ? ? Q: It looks a lot more fun than conventional methods; is this true? A: Yes !
    21. 21. Geometius stand nr. 3124 Thank you !