Modern technological breakthroughs, such as multibeam sonar and advances in data processing and GNSS positions have forever changed the way we perform hydrographic surveys. Autonomous Surface Vehicles, or ASVs, have ushered in a new era of unmanned systems and data acquisition and today, high-resolution data and operational efficiency are both the name of the game.
The ASV market for hydrographers is still relatively nascent but there is a growing range of man-portable, plug and play systems designed for commercial operators. The premise is simple: autonomous systems allow surveyors to spend less time on field operations and more on interpreting decision-critical data.
With our latest compact ASV, the SR-Surveyor M1.8, quality data comes as standard thanks to the optimized sensor suite (EdgeTech 2205, Velodyne PUCK, SonTek M9, and AML MicroSV), as does operational efficiency thanks to its tightly integrated design. However, the real USP is its size. The immediate benefits of a man-portable system might seem obvious—ease of transportation, rapid deployment, etc.—but it’s on the water that the SR-Surveyor M1.8 reveals its best-in-class ability to collect multiparameter datasets in hard-to-reach waters.
The high degree of maneuverability was perfectly illustrated by recent survey work conducted in the Bahamas using one of our fleet. One of the SR-Surveyor M1.8 tasks was to assess the environmental damage caused by Hurricane Dorian last September and in particular, identify underlying hazards and obstructions in the waterways. Thanks to the system’s ability to simultaneously collect side-scan sonar, wide swathe bathymetry sonar and lidar data, the ASV was also able to assist in the search and recovery efforts of the 700-800 residents that remain unaccounted for following the disaster. The SR-Surveyor M1.8’s dimensions and shallow draft proved critical to these efforts and point to the ever-diverging range of applications for unmanned systems in the hydrographic survey industry.
To find out more about the SR-Surveyor M1.8 and our other range of ASVs click here.