Swathe Services Echo-Sounder Training Uses Unmanned Surface Vessel

Swathe Services, a hydrographic survey support company in Hayle, Cornwall, United Kingdom, ran its first multi-beam echo-sounder training course

using a remotely operated Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). Hydrographic surveying is usually done with a manned survey vessel and takes many hours to complete. People came from Norway, France, Slovenia, UK and the United States to attend the intensive 5-day course.

As part of the training, the delegates mapped Hayle Harbour in Cornwall using a USV fitted with multi-beam echo-sounder technology. The USV was remotely operated from Swathe Services offices nearby using dedicated survey data acquisition software from HYPACK.

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“I have been training with HYPACK which is a fantastic software program for hydrographic surveying, and to see the USV operating remotely in the harbor was just amazing. It’s changing the way we survey ports and harbors,” Pierre Mezerette from SBG Systems in France, said.


“We are proud to be offering a world first right here in Cornwall. We’re the only company to date offering commercial hands-on MBES training using a USV. Our sister company Unmanned Survey Solutions provided the remotely operated Unmanned Surface Vessel for the training and it all worked perfectly,” managing director of Swathe Services, James Williams said.

“The future of conducting Hydrographic surveys is changing, and we are meeting those changes by offering training using the latest autonomous vessels and innovative MBES technology.”