The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) announced on 8 November that its Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit recently deployed for the first time a new type of small survey craft from its Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship HMAS Adelaide .
Called Polaris , the rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) was launched and recovered from the LHD during amphibious training off the coast of Queensland near Townsville as part of Exercise ‘Sea Wader 2020’.
The RAN announced on 8 November that its Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit recently deployed for the first time a new type of small survey craft (foreground) from its Canberra-class amphibious assault ship HMAS Adelaide (background) as part of Exercise ‘Sea Wader 2020’.
The RAN said the vessel is “part of a range of new capabilities, including a fly-away survey kit and the Remus 100S autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)”, which is aimed at modernising the collection and processing of geospatial data by the service’s hydrographers.
The new survey vessel will provide the geospatial survey teams a new approach to rapid environmental assessment and allow them to provide products to support military operations, including humanitarian aid and disaster response (HADR), noted the RAN. The service added that Polaris is equipped with “a range of geospatial technologies including a multi-beam echo sounder, side-scan sonar, sub-bottom profiler, and the ability to deploy its own AUV”.
Lieutenant Commander Paul Clark, Operations Officer Maritime Geospatial Warfare Unit, said Polaris is expected to give RAN teams improved capability in several areas. “The survey craft will eventually allow the deployable teams to complete tasks such as surveying shipping lanes, beaches, anchorage areas, and areas affected by natural disasters in which navigational accuracy is not guaranteed.
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