SEA 1770 capability on track for geospatial survey teams

Published on AB Kate Buchanan (author)

Topic(s): Science, Technology & Innovation

An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is transported to a launch site at sea by a Royal Australian Navy Geospatial Survey team. (photo: )
An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is transported to a launch site at sea by a Royal Australian Navy Geospatial Survey team.

Project SEA 1770’s aim is to modernise the approach Hydrographers have to Rapid Environmental Assessment.

The Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanic Group’s four Deployable Geospatial Survey Teams have been introducing a number of new capabilities since the Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit was stood up in October 2018.

The teams have received a range of new technology, including the Fly Away Survey Kit, Survey Craft, and most recently the Remus 100 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).

Survey Teams 2 and 3 have been conducting extensive training on the AUVs at HMAS Creswell and the Australian Maritime College, in order to develop operational capability for future military operations.

Although Navy already operates Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) in the Mine Warfare branch, the use of AUVs is a new and exciting technology for the Hydrographic Branch, which will allow the branch to avoid having to put sailors and officers in risky environments to achieve some tasks.

Specifically when conducting rapid environmental assessments in an amphibious, unknown or tactical environment, there is an option to use an AUV rather than putting humans in harm’s way.

Able Seaman Hydrographic Survey Operator Geordie Alliston said the new equipment represented significant modernisation for the Hydrographic Survey capability.

“The delivery of two Survey Craft and the Fly Away Survey Kit provides the Hydrographic Branch with new, modern systems.

“These systems can be used for rapid environmental assessment tasks, charting surveys or for Military Data Gathering.

“This allows the deployable geospatial survey teams to collect and process much higher quality data than what has been previously available,” Able Seaman Alliston said.

These new systems will also be utilised when responding to a humanitarian or disaster relief situation, to enable the faster and more reliable collection and dissemination of data.

With the final operational capability of all 1770 equipment expected to be delivered in 2020, the teams are looking forward to deploying on exercises such as RIMPAC, Sea Series and Exercise CROIX DU SUD with the Fly Away Deployable Kit, Survey Craft and AUVs.