• Home | Contact Us
  • Newcastle: +61 (0)2 4964 3500
  • Perth: +61 (0)8 6595 1500

Z-Boat for Riverine Scouting and River Gauging

The versatile Teledyne OceanScience Z-Boat was selected for participation in Army Innovation Day 2016 (AID 2016) held on 12th October 2016 in Canberra. The lead theme for Army Innovation Day 2016 was ‘manned and unmanned teaming for the soldier.’ 

BlueZone UVS proposed the innovative robotic Z-Boat to enable manned-unmanned teaming (MuMT) for a combined arms team in a joint environment in two roles: 
Riverine Scout Boat and River Gauging to Support Bridge Building. 

The Riverine Scout Boat was proposed to provide tactical information to the Riverine Patrol Boat crew where visibility and sensor information are limited by islands, vegetation, narrow inlets and choke points. The Scout Boat can provide a rapid and easily deployed way to provide information from blind zones and/or shallow water areas. The Riverine Scout Boat is acoustically quiet: a variety of sensor packages can be integrated into it providing the capability for covert surveillance and intelligence collection.

In a role to provide River Gauging to Support Bridge Building the Z-Boat can be configured with an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) instrument to provide fast and accurate data on river flow rates and discharge volumes. By using the Z-Boat in this configuration there is no need for personnel to enter the river and so this reduces to personnel the risk to personnel inherent in working in dangerous flooding rivers or in rivers with a risk of crocodile attack or other bio-hazards. Gauging a river with a Z-Boat is not limited by access to the river bank, so that the best location for a bridging crossing can be assessed independent of the access that is available to the bank when the river is assessed.

BlueZone UVS General Manager Defence & Water Resources, Andrew Hazell, said that other roles for the Z-Boat were envisioned based on discussions at Army Innovation Day 2016. “These roles included swift water rescue, casualty evacuation, emergency supply provision and rapid environmental assessment,” said Andrew, “The Z-Boat can be seen as a ‘Platform of Possibilities’, and there are a large number of ways where a versatile tool like the Z-Boat could be used ‘off-the-shelf’ for pre & post-mission tasking.” 

Australian Army officer Major Joshua Prucha (right) is shown the Z-Boat remotely-operated survey craft by Mr Andrew Hazell during Army Innovation Day at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra on 12 October 2016. 

The versatile Z-Boat shows its capability to operate in a Riverine region where it might provide a reconnaissance capability for a Riverine Patrol Boat. Please see the following link: 

Z-Boat at Army Innovation Day Z-Boat at Army Innovation Day (120595 KB)

Newsletter Sign-up