A key facet of IXSURVEY operations has been high accuracy survey in complex Port Environments. IXSURVEY has undertaken multiple surveys in the Port of Darwin since 2010, for the Darwin Port Corporation, the Royal Australian Navy; and as part of a cooperative program involving the Northern Territory Government, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Geoscience Australia.
Darwin is a key port on Australia’s North Coast that supports not only the sea freight requirements of the growing Northern Territory, but is also becoming a major hub for the export of Liquefied Natural Gas and other resources. Whilst Darwin Harbour is naturally deep for much of the navigable areas, there are several critical areas where large ship movements are restricted by the available tide and many areas critical to small ship operations either dry at very low tides, or are not navigable. The Harbour and surrounding waterways include extensive environmentally sensitive mangroves.
Surveys undertaken in Darwin have included the use of Kongsberg 3002D and R2Sonic MBES systems, with the majority of Darwin Harbour mapped over the course of multiple surveys. Surveys have included the mapping of not only the deep and navigable shallow areas, but also much of the extensive shallow waterways and intertidal areas. The area is complex with a large tide range of more than 8m, and as a part of the survey program the GPS Ellipsoid relationship to survey datum has been mapped across much of the harbour, using a GPS Tide Buoy to accurately determine the relationship between survey datum and the GPS Ellipsoid.