Melville marks World Hydrography Day doing what she does best

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Meeka Brooks (author)

Topic(s): Hydrography and Oceanography, HMAS Melville (A246)

HMAS Melville deploys a Slocum Glider, November 2019. (photo: MIDN Kolokotas)
HMAS Melville deploys a Slocum Glider, November 2019.

Today is World Hydrography Day and HMAS Melville will mark the day at sea, as the Hydrographic Survey crew continues ongoing survey operations in the vicinity of Shoalwater Bay.

Melville’s efforts will improve the charting quality and strengthen the knowledge of local tidal dynamics within the region.

The importance of this deployment is crucial to the continued appreciation of the changing environment, particularly with the enduring nature of Exercise TALISMAN SABRE, which is conducted every second year in the area.

“With a foremost understanding of the surrounding space above and below the water, the war fighter can take advantage of the information provided both tactically and strategically, to allow them to gain the edge over an opponent,” Melville’s Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Adrian Eddy, said.

“Our supporting role is to collect, decipher and disseminate to those who require it for decision-making purposes, either in real time or the more traditionally known methodical survey,” he said.

In 2019, Melville first deployed three Slocum Gliders as part of the SEA 2400 trials, to collect deep oceanographic data over a four week survey period, used in multiple disciplines of warfare and hydrography.

Coincidentally, and in tune with this year’s theme of autonomous technologies, Melville will be deploying these gliders once again coinciding with World Hydrography Day.

Maritime Geospatial Officer - Hydrographic, Lieutenant Djena Jordan, has been conducting survey operations onboard Melville since 2018.

“These gliders are piloted remotely from Western Australia by military and civilian personnel and can provide critical real-time data for planning purposes,” Lieutenant Jordan said.

“Autonomous technology that can be launched locally, yet piloted remotely, is an invaluable tool in ground-truthing information,” she said.

Melville will finalise another part of the area in the coming weeks with updated tidal and bathymetric information.

By understanding what lies beneath the water, Hydrographers remove the doubt associated with a maritime unit entering questionable waters, allowing them to navigate more confidently.