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Uni-Pact USV completes bathymetry survey in Australia

Client Australian Institute of Marine Science
Country Queensland, Australia
Year 2022
Service details Unique Group offers the latest autonomous technology for offshore survey operations to clients, we have designed and developed autonomous survey vessels – Uni-Cat and Uni-Pact. Our ASVs are ideal to be used in locations where conventional survey methods are not feasible, they are your best choice when a compact survey vessel is required.
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Summary of the Project

Unique Group successfully supported the Australian Institute of Marine Science, in completing a carbon-conscious bathymetric survey at Cape Ferguson to perform seabed modelling for their upcoming project, using our proprietary unmanned survey vessel (USV), Uni-Pact.

Client Requirement

The Australian Institute of Marine Science was looking for an autonomous survey vessel to acquire bathymetry data to perform seabed modelling for their jetty extension plans. In line with this, they reached out to Unique Group, and we executed the project to showcase Uni-Pact, our unmanned survey vessel’s capabilities, and effectiveness for the project.

Challenges faced

  • We had to manage the tidal swings - during the very low tides we had to launch the USV very early and recover it late.
  • The recharge of the USV battery had to be scheduled depending on the tide to maintain the endurance of the vessel.
  • The 4G coverage was patchy, we handled it by collaborating with METOCEAN and setting up a satellite communication system to control the Uni-Pact.

Unique Solution delivered

Unique Group delivered a ready-to-deploy, fully calibrated Uni-Pact USV to the project site which was fitted with the Norbit iWBMS. The Uni-Pact was the best solution for the client’s requirements as the multibeam echo sounder integrated quickly with the USV and the sound velocity probe was also easily deployed through the winch in the vessel. The system also had excellent over-the-horizon navigation and sensor control. A key highlight was that the Port of Brisbane surveyors were able to monitor the survey remotely from Brisbane, over 900km away from the project location.

Our team piloted the Uni-Pact through the line of sight and autonomously from the base station in the AIMS facility. We also supported the hydrographer by performing on-site checks for the survey solution.

AIMS was very pleased with the quality of the data collected during the survey and also for being able to complete the project using an eco-friendly unmanned survey vessel.

Benefits delivered

  • Time-saving and Cost-efficient: The project was completed in a shorter time than conventional methods, thus also saving costs.
  • Environment friendly: The Uni-Pact USV is a completely environmentally friendly solution, as it is operated on electric engines which make zero noise, thus reducing disturbance to the aquatic ecosystem.
  • Autonomous and remote solution: This project demonstrated the benefits of working autonomously and remotely, as the surveyors were able to remotely monitor the project from Brisbane.
  • Quick and easy solution: Uni-Pact reduced the process complexity as it is a lightweight and easy-to-deploy solution.

Client Feedback

Melanie Olsen at the Australian Institute of Marine Science commented: “Uni-Pact (UP-002) performed as expected and advertised, with absolutely no surprises to the client, operators, or surveyor. Its functionality, stability, and reliability meant there were zero hours lost due to failures, so the maximum benefits were capitalised throughout the project.”

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