Tasmanian companies and organisations provide valuable maritime services and highly specialised skills and understanding in the hydrographic and oceanographic domains.
Hydrography is the applied science that measures and describes the physical features of oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and coastal areas. This study determines and predicts changes over time, for the primary purpose of navigational safety, supporting marine activities, including, economic development, security and defence, scientific research, and environmental protection. The Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) is part of the Royal Australian Navy, which services both the military and civilian functions. Ships and watercraft will be able to operate more safely in Australian waters with the Australian Government’s growing utilisation of Tasmanian companies to produce digital maps of Australia’s sea and coastal areas.
Tasmania’s Defence Advocate, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Steve Gilmore said Tasmania has extensive experience working with maritime security agencies, commercial operators and the RAN range of hydrographic services for maritime sectors to improve ship operations and maritime safety. Some of our leading innovators include:
AMC Search the training and consultancy division of the Australian Maritime College, located in the north of the State, specialises in using the latest hydrodynamic modelling technology for realistic port and vessel interactions by simulating infrastructure and environments to test and optimise operations and systems.
More recently, AMC Search has been conducting training for Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) operators (both mine warfare and hydrographic survey) from its specialised facilities at Legana and Beauty Point in northern Tasmania. The overall training provided encompasses activities from the logistics of AUV launch and vehicle operation to data extraction and analysis, making AMC’s training program unique within Australia. This contributes directly to overall hydrographic operational capability.
Since commencing operations in 2007, Hobart based Offshore Unlimited has grown a modern fleet of support vessels servicing Australia’s maritime needs including the oil and gas industry, science and aquaculture sectors, construction and hydrographic survey. One of ‘Offshores’ recent successes is in the Department of Defence’s HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program (HIPP), where they are providing vessels to support hydrographic survey operations around Australia. HIPP was established in early 2020, by the Department of Defence and aims to develop an Australian hydrographic survey industry capability which focusses its effort on realising the nonmilitary tasking across Australia’s hydroscheme requirements. The HIPP is a nationally significant program that will not only benefit Defence, but a great many non-defence users of high-resolution bathymetric data and oceanographic data that will be collected under the program.
Veris Australia is the nation’s largest geospatial consultancy company employing over 500 staff located around the country. Of note, the company’s core digital and spatial capability which incorporates hydrographic services is situated in Tasmania with offices in Hobart and Devonport. Veris use a 3D sonar system to capture point cloud datasets of the sea floor which, in conjunction with high resolution 2D imagery, that is paired with terrestrial 3D laser scanned data, allow Veris to deploy an underwater 3D sonar. This impressive capability provides a complete three dimensional as-built model of features and structures both above and below the water line.
Veris offers a tailor-made solution to ensure assets remain safe, operational and efficient. These results can be accessed on PC, tablet and other mobile devices, to provide a flexible and visual presentation of results.
TideTech based in Hobart are a Tasmanian success story providing detailed, accurate weather, wave and ocean data to the maritime industry, by producing high-resolution tidal models and select meteorological or oceanographic datasets from official and academic sources not available elsewhere. This includes global weather, waves, sea temperature, ocean and tidal currents. Numerical models for tidal elevations, currents, storm and tide surges.
Using the latest science and technology Tidetech can synthesise forecast date to inform planning for maritime operations and provide real-time high-resolution data and intelligence during operations.
TideTech can design and deliver cloud-based data platforms to handle large scale complex metrological and oceanographic datasets.
CSIRO Marine National Facility
Located in Hobart, the Marine National Facility (MNF) is Australia’s only dedicated blue-water research centre, funded by the Australian Government and owned and operated by CSIRO.
The MNF provides Australia with an impressive multi-disciplinary marine research capability which can enable a wide range of research activity. With its ocean-class research vessel -(RV) Investigator it supports biological, oceanographic, geological and atmospheric research, as well as marine education and training. The vessel is funded for full year operation, delivering up to 300 research days each year. The MNF also supports Australia's regional contribution to large international research programs to address research questions in a global context.
Numerous other marine science and oceanography related organisations are headquartered and operate from Tasmania. In fact, with entities such as the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies; the Southern Ocean Observing System; the Integrated Marine Observing System; the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre; the CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere centre; CLS Oceania; and Imbros all located in Tasmania, it is no wonder the state has the greatest concentration of marine science and oceans expertise in the southern hemisphere.