NHS introduces use of autonomous technology in hydrography

Navy strikes to enhance normal of hydrographic apply in Nigeria

By Evelyn Usman

IN a transfer to fulfill up with the calls for of blue financial system, the Hydrographer of the Navy and President of the Nigerian Hydrographic Society, NHS, Rear Admiral Chukwuemeka Okafor, in a digital  handle to mark 2020 World Hydrographic Day celebration, disclosed that within the present hydrographic apply, consideration was more and more shifting to using autonomous applied sciences comparable to Autonomous Surface Vehicles, ASV; Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, AUV; and flying drones, to seize  excessive accuracy, high-resolution bathymetry information for near-shore and coastal environments.

The use of those autonomous expertise, in line with Okafor, was to forestall the unfold of the coronavirus from individual to individual. He stated: “Most developed hydrographic places of work are creating autonomous hydrographic capabilities of nationwide and world Blue Economy programmes, with the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, Office of Coast Survey, OCS; the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, UKHO and French Hydrographic Office, SHOM, main the cost.

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“In the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA’s OCS is deploying unmanned survey launches and survey vessels to work in the most treacherous weather and ocean conditions, with their survey crew members operating remotely. Therefore, we must start looking at optimising the use of these technologies now and in the coming years so that we can continue to provide marine geospatial solutions to mariners in the most acceptable standard, while staying safe in the midst of the prevailing pandemic”.

Noting that the aim of the World Hydrographic Day,WHD, was primarily to publicise the significance of hydrography and its relevance to humanity, Rear Admiral Okafor stated its theme ‘Hydrography-Enabling Autonomous Technologies’,  couldn’t have been extra apt, going by the present imperatives of COVID-10 protocols.

Though he said that 2020 has been a difficult yr for the Nigerian Hydrographic Society, he was fast so as to add that that the Nigerian Navy, being the society’s biggest companion in addition to the National Charting Authority and regulator of hydrographic surveys inside Nigerian waters, has produced quite a lot of marine geospatial options, starting from navigational charts to tidal info, amongst others.

As first step to residing as much as its expectation, the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office, NNHO, in line with him, ramped up its hydrographic capabilities with a number of first-of-its-kind merchandise to help Nigeria’s Blue Economy mission.

He said: “Recently, the Navy printed the primary indigenous Electronic Navigational Chart, ENC, NG 525010, to show the extent of hydrographic improvement in Nigeria. This feat accomplished Nigeria’s hydrographic capability improvement as required by the International Hydrographic Organisation, IHO. As at right now, the Office has printed the second version of the chart, incorporating latest navigational important adjustments which have taken place throughout the channel.

“The Office has additionally printed the second indigenous navigational chart, NG 4401 (Ogunkobo to Tin Can Island) at a time when it was most wanted, primarily as a result of the water throughout the space had hitherto by no means been charted and had just lately witnessed a number of marine accidents. This achievement drew a number of commendations from prime navy echelons, in addition to the Federal Government and mariners who expressed delight to the usefulness of the chart to their voyages.

“Early this month, the NNHO and certainly Nigeria, recorded one other mile stone in hydrographic capabilities, with the acceptance and publication of Nigeria’s first Electronic Navigational Chart, ENC, NG525010, by the International Centre for ENC (IC-ENC). The digital model of Nigeria’s Second indigenous navigational chart; NG 4401 is about to be launched quickly.

“As the Nigeria Navy is able to induct a state-of-the artwork offshore survey vessel, with autonomous capabilities within the subsequent few months, the NNHO is absolutely poised to supply up-to-date marine geo-spatial info of Nigerian waters to various maritime operators, for enhanced financial development of our expensive nation.

“To this finish, the NNHO has elevated collaborations with developed Hydrographic Offices, like NOAA, UKHO and SHOM, in an effort to faucet from their experiences towards churning out new nautical merchandise and options in essentially the most internationally acceptable format. Accordingly, the NNHO will quickly launch to the general public, a set of recent technology navigational companies comparable to High Density, HD, charts and high-resolution bathymetry merchandise amongst others.

“As the national charting authority in Nigeria, the NNHO is also collaborating with the hydrographic industry’s best under the umbrella of the Nigerian Hydrographic Society, NHS. This is for the purpose of improving the standard of hydrographic practice, methods and technologies among private hydrographic practitioners so that Nigeria can draw maximum benefits from the Crowd Sourced Bathymetric initiative of the IHO. This would go a long way to facilitate quicker survey and chart coverage of Nigerian waters, and ultimately place Nigeria on the right stead towards actualizing the Nippon Foundation/GEBCO seabed 2030 project.”

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