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World Hydrography Day: Understanding hydrography and enabling autonomous technologies

ghazi52

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World Hydrography Day:
Understanding hydrography and enabling autonomous technologies








June 21, 2020

Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of the navigable portion of the Earth's surface and adjoining coastal areas. In addition, it supports nautical charting and the provisioning of tide, current and water level information for safe navigation of shipping, as well as marine conservation and also determining the limits of continental shelf.

Hydrography
underpins almost every other activity associated with the sea, including, resource exploitation, environmental protection and management, national marine spatial data infrastructures, recreational boating, coastal zone management, tourism and marine science to name a few.

As per the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, the Contracting Governments of SOLAS are required to provide and maintain Hydrographic Services and products. In the past few decades, the following important factors have emphasized the need for adequate hydrographic survey coverage and the production of nautical charts and publications as required by SOLAS; the advent of exceptionally deep draught VLCC ships, the need to protect the marine environment, changing maritime trade patterns, the growing importance of seabed resources and the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention affecting areas of national jurisdiction.

However, many charts which were adequate a decade ago, may now have to be recompiled using new survey data, collected to a higher degree of accuracy and with improved coverage. This deficiency may not be limited to sparsely surveyed waters of developing nations, but may also apply to the coastal waters of major industrial states.

The hydrographic data is collected by using various state of the art gadgets which include satellite positioning systems and different type of depth measuring systems.

These systems are integrated and mounted on sea and air platforms. However, based on various studies it has been concluded that in developed maritime countries, return on investment on hydrographic surveys is around 1:10 because of its contribution towards blue economy.

Hydrographic information is a national asset required by both, governments and private sectors. Hydrography underpins almost every activity associated with the sea.

Some of the important activities are: Development of port and associated infrastructure, Resource exploration and exploitation, Establishing of national maritime boundaries, Environmental protection and management, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), Inland waterways management, Marine scientific research, Laying of seabed pipelines and communication cables and Tourism etc.

On 23 December 2003, the UNGA adopted Resolution on Oceans and Law of the Sea that dealt, in large part, with safety of navigation. In this resolution, the General Assembly welcomes the work of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and Invites IHO and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to proceed with endeavors of empowering more noteworthy international cooperation and coordination.

Thus, in this regard The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and its members celebrate World Hydrography Day every year on June 21.

This year’s theme, ‘hydrography enabling autonomous technologies’ is sparkling the focus on new developments that are revealing new data on our sea-beds. The running year theme, ‘Enabling Autonomous Technologies’ primarily underpins the use of innovation in attaining precision and accuracy in the field of hydrography.

For instance, the use of platforms such as autonomous surface vehicles (ASV), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) and LIDAR-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), such as drones to conduct hydrographic surveys to attain precision.

The IHO suggests that in doing so hydrography will be providing a testing for the apt use of these technologies alongside increasing the coverage of the areas properly surveyed.

These initiatives thus will surely pave the way for the development of safe, secure and environmentally sound Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) operations under the auspices of the IMO, which also require certified up-to-date hydrographic information in order to be implemented.

On behalf of Pakistan, Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department (PNHD) is playing its prime role in fulfilling the international obligation of undertaking Hydrographic Surveys and production of nautical charts in a befitting manner.

The department was established in 1949 and represents Pakistan at all national and international hydrography related forums. It also represents Pakistan on relevant national and international hydrographic forums.

Apart from publishing traditional charts, PNHD Charting Center is also producing Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs) as per international standards. These electronic charts play central role in today’s automated electronic navigation concept.

At the time of its inception, Pakistan has minimal capabilities to conduct the hydrographic research surveys yet the conversion of PNS ZULFQAR into survey vessel in 1948 is the glaring example of Pakistan Navy’s commitment to the maritime frontiers.

PNHD is mainly comprised of hydrographic survey ships, nautical chart production including distribution setup, national hydrographic data bank and a school to impart hydrographic training. PNHD has state of the art survey ships with one of the most modern survey platform of the region.

In addition to housing hydrography setup, this department is also shouldering the responsibility of Coordinator of NAVAREA-IX since 1976. NAVAREA IX consists of 16 countries of Gulf, Red Sea and North Arabian Sea region.

PNHD coordinates transmission of all information which is a safety concern for the vessels transiting in the area to give early information to the mariner in order to ensure safety of the ship/ craft.

The contributions of Pakistan Navy in the field of Hydrography are remarkable. For instance the expansion as well as the extension of the continental shelf is one such marvel to name. Pakistan has become the first country in North Indian Ocean to have successfully achieved extension in outer limits of continental shelf. Scientists from National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and PNHD worked together for various phases of this claim.

As a result, an approximate area of 50000 Square Kms has been awarded which can be utilized for resource exploration. Furthermore, Systematic surveys of coastal areas and regular updation new series of charts covering all Pakistani waters. PNHD has conducted mapping of all the Pors t Muhammad Bin Qasim, Gwadar, Ormara and many other important areas along the coast.

Moreover, PNHD played a significant role in successful resolution of maritime boundaries with Iran and Oman.

Moreover, joint survey of Sir Creek by Pakistani and Indian hydrographic departments in 2007 was also carried out to support resolution of maritime boundary dispute amongst two countries.

In order to support various national level projects, PNHD has conducted various hydrographic surveys in different areas along the coast of Pakistan.

Apart from hydrographic surveys at sea, PNHD has conducted various inland surveys including surveys of dams for storage capacity in support of developing inland water ways. Seawater Intrusion (SWI) is a phenomenon which has significant effects on coastal ecosystem and infrastructure.


Considering the importance, PNHD is a member of this national level project for sharing relevant expert opinion with NIO.

To sum it up, being a stakeholder Pakistan Navy also celebrates the day with zeal and considers the day as an opportunity to highlight the significance and importance of its activities; which could include initiatives that support the safety of navigation, the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, marine spatial data infrastructures, defence and security, resource exploration, and all other components of the blue economy.
 

aziqbal

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every navy needs its its own hydrography vessel and finally Pakistan has their own

I would to like to now see 1-2 submarine rescue ships from China or Turkey
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan has been using ship since 1992.




Behr Paima is a hydrographic survey and Research vessel owned by Pakistan Navy. Her keel was laid on 16 February 1982 and was launched on 7 July 1982 in Japan. The ship was handed over to Pakistan Navy on 27 December, same year. The ship was equipped with most modern surveying systems of the time. The hydrographic systems have been upgraded since then from time to time and hence are parallel with modern trends and techniques available in the world.



 

ghazi52

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HYDROGRAPHIC DEPARTMENT OF PAKISTAN

1. Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department (PNHD) was established in 1949 and Pakistan became member of IHO in 1957. The department is primarily responsible for conducting hydrographic surveys of coastal and offshore waters of Pakistan, publishing nautical charts and relevant publications to fulfill national and international requirements. The department is well equipped to undertake surveys as per IHO standards and has published a series of International / National charts for the entire coast of Pakistan. PNHD comprises Cartographic Division, Chart Depot, ENC Division, HQ NAVAREA-IX, Survey Vessel and Navigation & Hydrography School. Pakistan is shouldering responsibility of NAVAREA-IX coordinator on behalf of Govt of Pakistan for promulgation of Maritime Safety Information since 1976.

HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYS

2. Pakistan’s coast is 1001 Kms long and by virtue of its unique characteristics, is divided into 02 categories; Makran coast & Indus Delta (creek area). The later lies from east of Karachi till Sir Creek and is mainly comprised of deltaic region due to out fall of Indus River. Whereas, Makran Coast lies west of Karachi till Gwatar Bay bordering with Iran, consisting of sandy shores and sedimentary cliffs. PN Hydrographic Department is responsible for undertaking hydrographic survey activities in all waters under jurisdiction of Pakistan. Hydrographic cum oceanographic survey vessel BEHR PAIMA conducts survey of coastal as well as deep waters. Continuous efforts have been made to survey critical areas for safe navigation within Pakistani Waters. The department is presently involved in fresh surveys of areas of interest. Detailed information in this regard is as under:

a. Coverage of New Survey Survey activities from coast to 200m offshore is being undertaken to improve the coverage in A1 category area and about 92% coverage is complete. Nautical charts of deep sea area that falls under A2 category are relatively old. Work to complete deep sea (> 200m) area using new survey equipment and techniques is in progress at a moderate pace due to survey commitments in high priority areas. However, a considerable portion of deep sea area has been surveyed offshore Indus delta. The same is being utilized to update small scale charts of major shipping routes.

b. New Technologies / Equipment SV BEHR PAIMA is well equipped to undertake all kind of hydrographic and physical oceanographic surveys. State-of-the-art sensors like multi-beam echo sounder, deep sea echo sounder, multi frequency digital side scan sonar, RTK & Satellite based DGPS, SV Probe, CTD, Current Meters and Automatic Tide Gauges etc are part of the ship’s equipment inventory
 

ghazi52

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World Hydrography Day (WHD) is celebrated worldwide on 21 Jun every year with the aim of giving suitable publicity to the work of International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), urging all States to work with the organisation to promote safe navigation in the open seas, ports and other protected marine areas. Every year a specific theme, related to the contribution of hydrography in world maritime affairs is selected by IHO and this year's theme is Bathymetry - the foundation for sustainable seas, oceans and waterways'. Annual celebration of this day emphasizes the importance of hydrography as it underpins almost every activity associated with the sea including safety of navigation, economic development, security & defence, scientific research, environmental protection, construction of ports & harbours, resource exploitation, integrated coastal zone management, disaster management and maritime boundary delimitation etc.

Pakistan is a responsible coastal state blessed with over 1000 Kms of coastline and around 290,000 Sq Km sea area. More than 90% of Pakistan's trade by volume and 70% by value is carried through the sea. As per United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Pakistan is entrusted with the responsibility for hydrographic surveys and production of nautical charts/ maps of its waters in order to furnish accurate nautical information to the mariners. Fulfilling its international obligations, Pakistan Navy Hydrographic Department produces the requisite nautical information and digital charts to ensure safe navigation through the busy shipping lanes within our Area of Responsibility in the North Arabian Sea.

Pakistan Navy celebrates this day every year to underscore the importance of hydrography in all marine and maritime related activities that contribute significantly towards our national economy. On this day, Pakistan Navy reiterates its commitment towards ensuring safe navigation and sustainable economic activities in the maritime sector. I urge all the maritime stakeholders to join hands in raising awareness regarding the importance of hydrographic related activities towards sustainable growth of our national economy through enhanced trade and exploitation of marine resources.
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan Navy along with International Hydrographic community observing World Hydrography Day. The day signifies importance & role of Hydrography in Safety of Navigation, Protection of Marine Environment, Coastal Zone Mgt, Defence & Security & other components of Blue Economy/ National Growth. Pakistan Navy being sole custodian of National Hydrographic domain, promote modern trends in Hydrographic Surveys. PN Hydrographic Dept utilise autonomous technologies to undertake related topographic/ coastal surveys including underwater objects localization/ identification.

 

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