Atlantic Canadian company on mission to help map the world’s seabed by 2030
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct certain information.
With the tools at his disposal, Captain James Cook did a decent job of surveying and mapping the waters around Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
After all, the British cartographer’s instruments for these surveys from 1760 to 1772 were limited to a telescopic octant, a theodolite, paper, graphite, and his knowledge of triangulation.
His work provided the necessary information for explorers of his time to chart their oceanic voyages.
Mapping the oceans is still a work in progress, and the final chapter is an international mission to study the entire seabed of the world by 2030.
And an Atlantic Canadian company is playing a major role in achieving that goal.
Teledyne CARIS, based in Fredericton, NB, in conjunction with the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) signed a memorandum of understanding this week with The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project.
GEBCO (General Bathymetric Map of the Oceans) is a joint project of the International Hydrographic Organization and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and is the only organization in the world with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor to modern standards.
To date, according to the latest information from GEBCO, only 20.6% of the world’s seabed is now mapped.
The challenge of studying the seabed does not lie only in collecting data – acquired through multibeam surveys collected from ocean-going vessels – but in converting this data into high-resolution images for use by seafarers. browsers.
This is where Teledyne CARIS comes in.
With over 40 years of experience, the New Brunswick-based company is regarded in the marine community as a leader in the development of marine hydrographic and geospatial software.
Its flagship hydrographic production database is widely used by UKHO to produce its charts.
A new AI tool developed by Teledyne CARIS and UKHO as part of their ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions portfolio is a key technological element of the agreement. The expectation is that the AI-based bathymetric data noise cleaning capability will benefit Seabed 2030 by providing more efficient processing of the information collected from the multibeam bathymetric data set for the project.
Karen Cove, Senior Product Manager at Teledyne CARIS, said the AI ââtool saves time by automating the cleaning process previously performed manually by hydrographers.
Processing the bathymetric data, which would normally take days, can be accomplished in a matter of hours, she said.
Cove added that under the agreement, the Seabed 2030 project can test AI technology for a year.
The AI ââtool is the result of a collaboration between Teledyne CARIS and UKHO.
Cove said that when Teledyne CARIS began developing their AI program, they found the UKHO was doing the same.
âWhen we saw that we were doing a lot of research and development in the same area, we thought it would be beneficial for both of us to work together. “
Peter Sparkes, director general of the UK Hydrographic Service, said in a press release that the
The AI ââtool “will allow us to deepen our understanding of the world’s oceans”.
Sparkes added: âSeabed mapping data plays a vital role in supporting maritime commerce, protecting our oceans and combating climate change – ensuring the safety of seafarers and supporting sustainable development. “
âWe are extremely happy to be working with the UK Hydrographic Office on this,â said Cove, adding that the AI ââtool is hosted on the CARIS Mira AI platform – already in commercial use – for the make it available to users around the world.
All data collected and shared with the Seabed 2030 project will eventually be included in the GEBCO Global Grid, the most comprehensive ocean floor bathymetric dataset in the world.
The agreement with Seabed 2030 is not the only major achievement for Teledyne CARIS in 2021.
Earlier this year, the company entered into an agreement with the Canadian Hydrographic Service and PRIMAR / ECC of Norway for the use of its S-100 service.
As the world of navigation goes digital, the S-100 standard is essential.
Sea trials are currently underway in the St. Lawrence Seaway and in Norway, to test the S-100 standard in terms of accuracy, ease of use and cost.
Pilots who test the system are already giving the system a passing grade.
Cove said the value of ocean mapping is better understood every day, and there are many governments and agencies involved in the work.
âWe are in the United Nations Ocean Decade, of course, and I think everyone understands that we need a great base map for the ocean. “
Captain Cook would probably agree.
Barb Dean-Simmons is an economics reporter for the SaltWire Network.