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Airborne Lidar and Integrated Technologies for Coastal Mapping and Nautical Charting

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The state-of-the-art in airborne coastal mapping and charting technology is the Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system. CHARTS is the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office program name for an Optech, Inc. SHOALS 3000T20-E. CHARTS comprises a 3 kHz bathymetric lidar, a 20 kHz topographic lidar, a DuncanTech DT4000 high-resolution digital camera, and a Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager(CASI)-1500. The integrated sensor suite has the capability to collect lidar bathymetry, lidar topography, RGB imagery, and hyperspectral imagery. Beyond these products, the diffuse attenuation coefficient and seafloor reflectance at multiple wavelengths may be estimated by combining information from the bathymetric lidar waveform and the hyperspectral imagery.

The Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) specified development of the CHARTS system and currently manages its operations for Department of Defense customers. CHARTS data collection rate of 21 square nautical miles per survey hour enables rapid completion of large nautical charting work for the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Coastal Mapping Program uses CHARTS to collect engineering scale data for the entire U.S. coastline. JALBTCX continues to lead development in the field of airborne lidar and integrated technologies for coastal mapping and charting. Future research efforts include mining the individual data sets collected by CHARTS for information beyond elevation, combining data sets to further identify physical and environmental characteristics of the coastal zone, and integrating additional complementary sensors with CHARTS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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