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Home port testbed yields results

Dynamic changes to the entrance channel and the shallow outer sand bar of Hayle Harbour UK are to be monitored over the next 12 months thanks to support of local company Unmanned Survey Solutions (USS) test programme by the Harbour Authority.

Unmanned Survey Solutions (USS) are based on North Quay, Hayle.  The company designs, builds and operates Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV’s) or ‘robotic boats’ and is often out testing new systems in local water.  The hydrographic data collected during these trials is used to provide the Authority with updated charts.

Monitoring the effects of dredging, sluicing and periodic natural changes to the depths of the harbour enables the Hayle Harbour Authority to fulfil its conservancy requirements, and ensure safe operation to harbour users.

Hayle Harbour Master, Peter Haddock explains: “Regular surveying of the harbour helps us to fulfil our conservancy duties, but also to closely monitor our dredge operations.  By using the data gathered by USS, we can direct that operation and reduce any risk to harbour users.’’

James Williams, Director of USS, commented: “Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) operations in busy waters can be challenging, especially during the tourist season.  This is exacerbated with high tidal ranges and areas of shoaling throughout the harbour at low water.

“By working closely with Peter and his team, we have been able to develop safe working procedures for our vessels.  We also manage to time our testing activities to coincide with pre and post dredging operations, so that we can effectively inform the Authority on the effects these dredging activities are having on the environment.”

Hayle Harbour Authority and USS intend to map the harbour every three months throughout 2020 to gain detailed insights into how the harbour changes throughout the seasons.

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