PLA, USS Support University College London Course
The Port of London (PLA) Hydrographic department teamed up with Unmanned Survey Solutions (USS) to provide educational support to University College London’s (UCL) IHO CAT A course in Hydro-graphic Surveying.
The PLA have supported the University by providing lectures in current Hydrographic techniques and equipment as well as supporting their student field projects. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the final element of this year’s support had to be conducted virtually. The PLA, in conjunction with the USS and UCL, devised a two-week schedule which incorporated a combination of manned and un-manned survey tasks to bring the very latest industry solutions to MSc students.
“Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs), have a key role to play in the future of surveying,” said John Dil-lon-Leetch, Port Hydrographer at the Port of London Authority. “With the same sonar system technol-ogy as fitted to our larger surveying vessels, Maplin and Thame but at a fraction of the size of the size, this remote unmanned vessel can access areas that weren’t accessible before to this level of survey capability, changing the way we survey the riverbed. It is battery powered so releases no carbon emis-sions and is robust enough to work in rough offshore and coastal conditions.”
Using remote access capability to onboard systems, students from as far away as China, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore received daily interactive broadcasts from the Hydrographic teams aboard the PLA manned vessels M/V Maplin and M/V Thame to direct and participate in the project work.
During the final week of operations, they were also able to remotely pilot USS’s Accession 350 Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) and send it off on pre-programmed survey missions to gather high resolution bathyme-try.