Fiordland survey

It seems like only yesterday that we were in the South Pacific completing our mammoth Tonga survey project.

And now we are already well into the month of February and our team has been busy mobilising for another Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) project, this time in the Fiordland National Park – one of the most picturesque and pristine regions on the planet.

A first for iXblue

iXblue and Discovery Marine Limited (DML) will work closely together and share resources throughout the project.

For the first time in our history, we will be employing four different vessels – all fitted with multibeam systems.  These vessels will be:

  • The 30m SILENT WINGS and 17m KAREN D (owned and operated by NZ firm Pacific 7).  The SILENT WINGS will carry two smaller MBES equipped vessels – the iXblue DriX USV
  • The DML owned PELICAN – a 7m Stabicraft.

30m SILENT WINGS, Pacific 7

30m SILENT WINGS, Pacific 7

It is anticipated that all vessels will be employed in different combinations throughout the project.

The smaller of the vessels will be employed to survey the very shallow waters close to the shoreline, whilst the larger vessels will progress the deeper regions of the Fiords.

A team of surveyors are currently in the region deploying the necessary tidal and geodetic infrastructure, in readiness for the arrival of the vessels this week.

Equipment fittings on the vessels

  • Three of the vessels are fitted with Kongsberg EM2040C MBES with the dual swath option fitted.
  • The PELICAN is fitted with an R2Sonic 2022 system.
  • All four vessels are fitted with iXblue ROVINS  INS, Valeport SVP and SVS sensors, QPS QINSy acquisition and CARIS post processing software.

We will rely heavily upon the Teledyne OceanScience underway profiling winches for the efficient measurement of sound velocity data throughout the project.

A spectacular survey location

Once again, we are very much looking forward to surveying a spectacular corner of the world with some of the world’s finest survey systems.  We also look forward to working closely with the expert team from DML.


It is planned that the survey fieldwork will be complete by the end of April.  We’ll provide regular update on the challenges and outcomes.

David Donohue

As Managing Director David's role is to ensure clients' surveys are undertaken with precision and to meet budgets, schedules and relevant survey standards. His particular driving passion is innovation and process improvement.

More Posts