Emerging Trends in Bathymetric Lidar Technology - 1

A surging interest in remote sensing and analytics has seen technology developments linked to these domains take off as we head into 2019. Airborne Lidar bathymetry (ALB) is no exception to recent innovations, especially with the growing recognition in the importance of high-resolution data to inform management of our oceans, seabed and coastal zone. In our recent discussions with ALB manufacturers and experienced operators, several significant new developments were revealed.

The new developments include: Lightweight ALB sensor alternatives driven by the proliferation of Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles (UAVs); Increased point density for ALB across all feasible depths for improved detail and feature detection; Increased automation in the data-processing workflows for improved efficiency and faster delivery; and More data products requested by users due to their increased storage capacity, and improvement in cloud-based services. In many jurisdictions this is leading to increased data sharing and analytics using online platforms.

With the current focus on autonomy and automation, it is an inspiring time to be into seabed mapping, especially as a fan of ALB. 

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