The area covered by the BSH’s hydrographic surveys includes the German territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is an area of some 57,000 km², or one fifth of the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Both the German Bight and the southwestern part of the Baltic Sea are congested waters of shallow depth. Safe and efficient navigation in these waters requires a good knowledge of the seabed topography. Especially in the North Sea, where the sandy sea bottom is changing continually due to
tidal action and storm events, resurveying has to be performed routinely. Most coastal waters of the German North Sea are resurveyed every three years by the BSH’s survey vessels, others as often as once a year.
Click on the picture for a larger image
The hydrographic surveys are made on board the BSH’s five survey vessels and their survey launches. The survey vessel „Komet“ is used exclusively for surveying. She was commissioned in 1998 and is equipped with four survey launches. Apart from the „Komet“, three similar multipurpose vessels are operated by the BSH: „Atair“,
„Wega“, and „Deneb“. They are used for surveys, wreck search, and research. The most modern survey vessel, the „Capella“ (commissioned in 2004), is used for survey operations in protected areas of the Baltic (e.g. shallow coastal lagoons) and in the North Sea tidal flats. The survey, wreck search, and research vessels ATAIR, DENEB, and WEGA are sister ships.
Back to hydrographic surveying