Ice patrol and survey

The Surveying Flotilla

The Surveying Flotilla is a disparate group of ships which probe the waters of the world in a task which has been carried out by Royal Navy ships for centuries.

Whether it is HMS Scott in the deep oceans or HMSML Gleaner in a harbour, data is gathered and translated into charts which provide safe passage for mariners across the globe.

Explore Survey Equipment

  • Survey Equipment
  • Hull mounted multi beam echo sounder

    Hull mounted multi beam echo sounder

    The multibeam echo sounder is a device used by hydrographic surveyors to determine the depth of water and the nature if the sea bed.

    The system works by by transmitting a brad acoustic fan shaped pulse from a transducer which then form multiple receive beams known as beamforming.  From this beam a two way travel time of the the pulse is established. If the speed of sound in water is known, the depth and position of the return signal can determined.

    For deep water a steerable transmit beam is required to compensate for pitch.

  • Survey motor Boat

    Survey motor Boat SMB

    The Survey Motor Boat can 'fly the nest' independently from the mother ship to survey shallow waters.

    It will carry state of the art equipment on board, such as the 2040 Multibeam Echo Sounder, EA400 Single Beam Sounder and the GeoAcoustics 2094 Side Scan Sonar. These allow it to update charts and take various scientific readings.


  • 8.5m Ramped Work Boat

    8.5m Ramped Work Boat Terra Nova

    The 8.5metre work boat is used transport equipment, stores, vehicles and people from 'ship to shore' in the difficult environments that the Ice Patrol and Survey Ships are deployed.


operations Maritime Security

British ships and units are committed to operations in the Mediterranean. Operations focus on maritime security, reassurance and wider regional engagement to build regional maritime capability as well as providing humanitarian assistance as required.

operations Surveying the Ocean

Hydrographic ships work in a variety of sea areas to gather and process hydrographic and oceanographic data for planning and operational purposes. In addition this data will be dispatched to the UK Hydrographic Office for analysis and inclusion into navigational charts and other navigational safety publications. The ships also closely monitor other vessels whilst deployed and deterring any potential illegal activity.

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The Data gathered is translated into charts that are available for mariners across the globe