Swathe Services MD James Williams wrote an article for the Unmanned Systems Special Edition of Hydro International.  It was about his experiences of using the ASV C-Worker 6 to collect shallow survey data within Plymouth Sound, UK.

The special edition of this magazine was edited by Durk Haarsma and contains a number of articles about developments in the use of unmanned systems within the hydrographic industry.

Hydro International article findings

The article talks about using the C-Worker 6 vehicle from ASV Ltd to collect data as part of the Shallow Survey 2016 international conference that was held at Plymouth University.

The conference was focused upon high-resolution surveys in shallow water and all participants worked to create a common dataset which consisted of a series of different surveys obtained by a range of equipment types and models over the same area of seabed.

The common dataset was collected over three specific areas of Plymouth Sound, which is a natural harbour in the South West of England.

James explains how the C-Worker 6 compares to other equipment types and models when used over the same area of seabed.

High Specifications

The survey specifications were high, so James used the R2Sonic 2022 with Integrated Inertial Navigation System (I2NS), Valeport MiniSVS, Trimble RTK (3G corrections) and HYPACK HYSWEEP data acquisition software.  These were all installed on the dedicated payload frame of the C-Worker 6 from ASV Ltd.

Efficient surveying

James was pleased to find that he managed to survey one of the areas faster than any of the other participants.  Only one participant managed to survey the other two areas faster than him.

This suggests that the C-Worker 6 can considerably reduce field survey time and increase overall survey productivity and efficiency.  This is due to the ability of the vessel to navigate accurate straight lines by using its autonomy programming.

The performance of all survey equipment was no different than on a manned vessel.  Quality checking and adjustments were made as if a surveyor was present on the vessel.


There were some challenges related to the task, including fast tidal currents, difficulties with 3G reception and importing the survey line plan into the navigation on the C-Worker 6.

If you would like to find out more about any of the equipment that James used to help create the common dataset then please contact James Williams on +44(1872) 275642.