Published on Shephard Unmanned Vehicle Vol 23 n°1, March 2018
Written By Gerrard Cowan
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Hydrography is a wide-ranging area, that deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time, for the primary purpose of safety of navigation and in support of all other marine activities.
AUV s can boost the performance and precision of data collection by hydrographers, largely due to their endurance, An AUV can work day and night, in order to cover a larger area in less time than in a traditional way,'
'Another advantage brought by the use of unmanned systems is a considerable gain in logistic and human resources management and costs.'
said a spokesperson for ECA Group, a French manufacturer with numerous interests in the unmanned space.
ECA Group designs and manufactures a range of unmanned and autonomous vehicles with hydrographiy uses, including the AUV A9-S. The systems can perform numerous tasks, such as measuring the temperature and conductivity of the sea to better understand storms and the role of oceans in climate change. As well as its AUVs, the company also produces an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) for use in shallow or very shallow waters.
These AUV platforms are operable in both shallow and deep water,, and can be used in photography and bathymetric surveys, marine geology and seabed mapping. They can operate from surface vessels or on their own. The modular systems can have a side-scan sonar, multibeam echosounder or sub-bottom profiler, or a combination of these, the spokesperson said
Until recently, AUV use in hydrography and oceanography was limited to a number of dedicated tasks due to technological limitations. However, the development of more advanced processing capabilities and higher-endurance power supplies means the systems are now used for a greater number of applications.
Discover ECA Group's AUV solutions
Discover ECA Group's Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) solutions