The panel of industry partners was chosen as part of a long-term strategy to ensure safe shipping routes, commercial ports and maritime approaches within the Australian Charting Area. Panel members will acquire marine environmental data to produce digital maps of Australia’s sea and coastal areas that will improve the safety of maritime vessels operating in Australia’s sea charting area, which covers 10 % of the earth’s surface.
The partnership program of AUD 150 million secures a sovereign capacity to produce hydrographic information over the next 5 years. Data will be acquired by vessels and aircraft, and optimised by the introduction of innovative technologies to increase safety and efficiency, such as autonomous vehicles, remote sensing and automated cloud-based data-processing. Fugro is also developing artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies for hydrographic application.
In addition to supporting maritime safety, Paul Seaton, Fugro’s Director of Business Development and Government in the APAC region, stated: “Having robust hydrographic data supports sustainable development, trade and tourism, helps manage resources, and protects the environment. Being an independent provider of Geo-data such as hydrography is a key component of Fugro’s vision to contribute to a safe and liveable world.”
Fugro is already a long-term partner of the Australian Hydrographic Service (AHS) and the Royal Australian Navy, and the new HIPP replaces the previous contract that Fugro held to support hydrographic data collection via the RANLADS airborne laser bathymetry system. Most recently, Fugro utilised the LADS (laser airborne depth sounder) system to map the New South Wales coastline and areas in a number of Pacific Island States including Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Fiji.