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Caribbean coastal management benefits from innovative survey techniques

Fugro has said it has completed a landmark data acquisition project in the Caribbean with the first commercial use of its Rapid Airborne Multibeam Mapping System (Ramms).

Under a contract with the UK Hydrographic Office, Fugro used the technique to deliver high-resolution bathymetric, topographic and image data across 7,400km2 of the Turks and Caicos Islands to support nautical chart updates and coats zone management.

The Ramms system uses multibeam laser technology to deliver industry-leading depth penetration and point densities. The compact sensor is deployed from small aircraft and can be easily integrated with other remote sensing technologies for simultaneous collection of multiple complementary datasets.

For the Turks and Caicos project, this approach made it possible for Fugro to acquire nearshore (bathymetry) and coastal (topography and imagery) data in a single deployment, producing a cost-effective solution.

“After years of development, it’s extremely gratifying to operate Ramms commercially and to demonstrate to clients the value that this cutting-edge technology can bring,” said Fugro Americas Marine Division hydrographic service line director Mark MacDonald.

“The system’s multibeam lidar capability allowed us to achieve point densities that otherwise would have required vessel-based surveys. With Ramms, we were able to avoid that additional time and expense, and significantly reduce health and safety exposure.”

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