Bathymetric Lidar for SOLAS-compliant Charting
Bathymetric lidar, while quicker and cheaper than shipborne swathe systems, has long struggled to meet the accuracy and object detection criteria required of special order or order 1A surveys under the IHO S44 Standard. With the severe depth limitations also encountered in the waters around the British Isles, the UK Government and United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has for many years had little reason to investigate its use for charting purposes. With the commencement of several UK Government sponsored global programmes aimed at not only reducing the risk of maritime incidents but also increasing the usage of the maritime sectors of many developing coastal and island states, the sheer size of un-surveyed areas in scope required a more expansive approach than simply resorting to shipborne surveys.
Over the past 3 years, the UKHO has contracted over 10,000km2 of bathymetric lidar surveys challenging the industry to strive where possible to meet the requirements of the IHO Order 1A survey. This presentation will look at the development of our specification; the challenges encountered during acquisition, validation and onward charting. It will include an in-depth comparison of the object detection capabilities of both shallow and deep lidar systems compared to more traditional multi-beam echo sounders. To finish it with a look to the future and further challenge manufacturers and surveyors to continue to push the realms of the possible.