Airborne survey operations comes to Tasmanian coast
3 February 2017
The Laser Airborne Depth Sounder (LADS) flight will deploy to Tasmania to survey coastal waters from King Island to Launceston.
Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Mark Matthews, said the survey will provide improved data that will be used to update the existing nautical charts used by all civilian and military vessels.
“The Royal Australian Navy is responsible for charting about 12 per cent of the world’s surface,” Lieutenant Commander Matthews said.
“The Navy is currently recharting parts of the Bass Strait, with HMAS Leeuwin undertaking survey operations at sea and now LADS mapping the coastline and water off northern Tasmania.
“The charts that are updated from the data captured by LADS will ensure safer navigation and greater environmental protection by reducing the risk of a marine accident.”
Flying out of Launceston, the LADS flight will operate 35 hours per week until 31 March 2017, mostly during the afternoon and early evenings.
The mission will see the aircraft fly at a height of 500m, in lines parallel to the coast. They may also fly over coastal areas when surveying shallow coastal areas.
“The unit is unique to all Navy around the world. The system was developed in Australia and uses a scanning laser mounted in the aircraft to collect hydrographic survey data and depth information,” Lieutenant Commander Matthews said.
“The system is particularly suited to coastal and dangerous reef areas where it’s dangerous for ships to operate.
“A prime example was the recent deployment to New Zealand to survey parts of its coastline following the 2016 earthquakes.
“LADS provided information for ships to safely navigate through areas the seabed moved.
“The team has spent much of its life in the Great Barrier and the Coral Sea, but is now expanding its operations.
“The data collected during the survey in Tasmania will be reflected on the chart amendments issued in April and fully revised charts later in the year.”
Due to the nature of the operations, some noise may be experienced by residents in the area. This will be minimised wherever possible, but concerns can be raised with the Commanding Officer LADS Flight on 07 4046 2950.
More information on the LADS flight is available at: http://www.navy.gov.au/fleet/aircraft/laser-airborne-depth-sounder