How to Derive Shallow-water Bathymetry Measurements From Satellites
TCarta Marine, a provider of marine geospatial products, is commercializing a new technique to derive highly accurate shallow-water bathymetry measurements from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite data. The new methodology is being developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2018, NSF awarded the company a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to commercialize new satellite-derived bathymetric (SDB) measurement technologies. Referred to as Project Trident, the research focused on leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) - machine learning and computer vision - to determine shallow-water seafloor depth in variable water conditions.
Bathymetric Data Extraction Tool
“As participants in NASA’s Applied Users Program, we incorporated laser data from ICESat-2 as a validation tool for the enhanced SDB technologies under development,” said TCarta President Kyle Goodrich. “The results were so impressive we plan to introduce a stand-alone ICESat-2 bathymetric data extraction tool as one of several commercial products from our NSF work.”
NSF awarded TCarta a $750,000 Phase 2 grant in late 2019 to continue Project Trident for an additional two years. Phase 2 will incorporate the new ICESat-2 research into the project’s original objective of enhancing existing SDB technologies with AI capabilities to measure seafloor depths in diverse water conditions.
“The breakthroughs we made with NSF funding will enable us to apply SDB technology in geographic areas and water conditions not previously possible,” said Goodrich. “The results will have commercial impacts on marine operations related to oil and gas exploration and production, coastal infrastructure engineering, environmental monitoring, and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) activities.”