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Issue 9: Water Applications

Implementation of a Positioning and Telemetry Buoy to Determine Chart Datum for Hydrographic Survey Applications

Elliot N. Arroyo-Suarez, LT. Deborah L. Mabey, USN, Vic Hsiao, and Reo Phillips

Download the full paper in PDF (344 KB)


The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) and the U. S. Navy's Fleet Survey Team (FST) conduct worldwide hydrographic surveys in accordance with International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) S-44 standards. The current concept of operations (CONOPS) requires that tide gauges be installed in-shore to define the local vertical chart datum. This requires clearances and permissions from national and local authorities as well as landowners in order to establish and access these shore stations. Substantial effort to establish and maintain security for shore parties and equipment left behind is also required. The recent implementation of real-time Global Differential GPS (GDGPS) point positioning technology presents an opportunity to change and greatly simplify the current CONOPS.


  • Reprinted with permission from The Institute of Navigation ( and The Proceedings of the 18th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation, (pp. 801-804). Fairfax, VA: The Institute of Navigation.


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