When Harry met Albert and George

No, not another version of the film but the return of ASV Harry to London’s Royal Docks – specifically the Royal Albert Dock and the King George V Docks.

Back in January 2018 the Eastern end of the docks were the focus of several weeks of dredging works by the vessel Borr to remove the buildup of silt deposits that could impede the passage of vessel through the docks.Borr (7) @ KGV Dock 17-01-18

As a result of these works a new hydrographic survey was required to update the navigation charts for the docks and the Port of London Authority have that task on behalf of the Royal Docks Management Authority.Galloper @ Gallions Reach 04-04-16

Usually the PLA would have deployed their small survey vessel Galloper for the task but on this occasion they commissioned the services of 4D Ocean to use a remotely operated vessel – the use of such “robot” vessels is something that the PLA are researching and this type of technology is likely to become part of their inventory but as yet the exact system has not been determined.

This was not the first time that ASV Harry had operated in the Royal Docks as it had visited in March 2018 to do a survey in KGV Dock and then attended the Oceanology International 2018 event held in Royal Victoria Dock.

The SeaRobotics unmanned vessel carries a sonar system and is operated using a wireless link that provides a video feed from the onboard tv camera as well as the mapping data and receives steering commands in return. The vessel can also be programmed to undertake autonomous taskings.ASV Harry (7) @ Royal Docks 10-04-18

Whilst it was doing the survey some of the local residents came to have a look but weren’t bothered by the visitor.ASV Harry (5) @ Royal Docks 10-04-18

The use of such technology brings a number of advantages including being more environmentally friendly in that the battery powered electric motors are very quiet and create no emissions which reduces the impact on neighbouring people and properties.

The vessel also produces very little wash and can operate in confined or restricted areas that might be more difficult for a conventional vessel to navigate to.ASV Harry (30) @ Royal Docks 10-04-18

A short video of Harry at work can be seen below:ASV Harry working in London's Royal Dock 10-04-18
The greater use of such technologies is coming to the waters of the Thames and PLA is working towards this outcome at some future point.

ASV Harry (40) @ Royal Docks 10-04-18

Some more pictures can be seen here.


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