Shallow Survey 2005
Shallow Survey 2005, jointly hosted by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) took place in Plymouth, UK, from 12-15 September. This was the fourth running of the international Shallow Survey Conference, since its inception in Sydney, Australia, in 1999 and it was the first time it had taken place in Europe.
The 250 international delegates saw opening speeches from the organisers’ two Chief Executives, Wyn Williams, UKHO, and Cpt Stephen Bligh, MCA. These presentations were followed by the keynote speech from Vice Admiral Maratos, President of the International Hydrographic Bureau, and from there the event focused on the technical content of the conference – high resolution surveys in shallow water.
A primary feature of the conference was the Common Data Set, which comprised a series of surveys conducted using a variety of systems, for which Plymouth Sound was an ideal location. Various manufacturers had observed the data between August 2004 and August 2005. Their results were detailed at the conference which enabled the delegates to observe and compare how different equipment and techniques work in a common location. The first area observed was within Plymouth Sound – Mountbatten to Devonport – a truly diverse area with depths from the drying line down to 40 metres and seabed types including bedrock, sand, gravel and mud. The second area was less complex but more exposed to the elements, lying outside the harbour.
Excellent feedback has been received regarding the formal content of the conference and the programme of social activities provided:
We are grateful for the kind remarks contained within the October edition of The Hydrographic Journal’s report on the conference. Ian Holden stated “The conference was exceptionally well organised from the formal programme to the evening social activities. The MCA and UKHO deserve our thanks. The conference provided a huge amount of knowledge for all those who attended”. Victor Abbot concluded his piece with “Was the conference good? It was excellent. It was great to have such a conference in the UK and the multiple dataset will provide a superb resource for years to come.”
Captain Don Jagoe, USN (Ret.) of (SAIC) Science Applications International Corporation took the trouble to put pen to paper on behalf of his colleagues who had attended the conference and commented “The evident preparation, superb organization and hard work that went into this most important of Hydrographic events was notable and gave my participants a significant professional opportunity for training, education, and of course, camaraderie. For those of us in this vital niche industry, there is no more important international venue to exchange relevant and up-to-date information on current and incipient technologies – particularly multibeam.
This conference accomplished what all should strive for: it provided the right people, focused on real problems in an environment that enhanced the sharing of ideas and that too-often misused word: synergy.”
Positive comment from one of the exhibitors was most welcome. Lindsay Gee, Conference Exhibitor from IVS 3D Inc; “Back across the pond and just wanted to add my thanks to you all for a great conference ... you have certainly set the bar high for the SS conferences and also any other hydro conference. As an exhibitor the organization of a conference and the quality of attendees makes a big difference to having successful conference. In this case it was outstanding, with very slick organization and an excellent spread of attendees from lots of places and a good spread across the industry."
The next Shallow Survey Conference is scheduled to take place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, in the autumn of 2008.