ASV Global, TerraSond complete first unmanned hydrographic survey

C Worker5 Q105

(PORTSMOUTH, United Kingdom) — ASV Global and TerraSond have completed a 5,172-nautical-mile hydrographic survey in the Bering Sea off Alaska.

TerraSond used the C-Worker 5 autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) alongside its Q105 survey ship for a duration of 36 days. The C-Worker 5 completed 2,275 nautical miles of survey lines operating as a force multiplier, running parallel survey lines to the Q105. Both vessels ran multibeam sonars and simultaneously towed side scan sonars.

The C-Worker 5 was operated using ASV Global’s ASView control system from a control station on the Q105 vessel. ASView used exported survey lines from the TerraSond planning system to autonomously execute an accurate survey with minimal human intervention. Navigational safety was maintained by the C-Worker 5 operator monitoring the ASV’s color and thermal camera feeds and AIS collision avoidance system, while radar overwatch was provided by the Q105. 

Thomas Chance, chairman of ASV Global, said, “The C-Worker 5 has proven itself as a reliable, weather-resistant solution to increasing survey efficiency. The ASV covered up to 130 nm per day, doubling the coverage of the Q105 survey vessel. In addition to this, the C-Worker 5 was able to survey shallow waters that the Q105 was not able to reach."

This 2016 deployment was a follow on from a proof-of-concept operation carried out between TerraSond and ASV Global in August 2015 during which an ASV platform became the first autonomous surface vessel to update the U.S. nautical charts for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more information, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff