High Resolution Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry to Increase the Navigational Safety of Tonga and Niue
Safe and reliable passage through Pacific waters is essential to protect fragile ocean environments and allow Pacific island countries’ economies to develop. The Pacific Regional Navigation Initiative (PRNI) aims to achieve this. As part of the PRNI, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) contracted for survey services to allow the update of nautical charts in Tonga and Niue. The services required a combination of Satellite Derived Bathymetry (SDB), Airborne Laser Bathymetry (ALB) and Multibeam Echo Sounder (MBES) technologies. The overlap between the three technologies will provide a rich dataset, allowing LINZ to assess when and where each technology can be best used for purpose. iXBlue subcontracted Geomatics Data Solutions to provide high resolution ALB services using their Chiroptera II system. In addition to topo and bathy lidar, 4-band RGBN imagery will be acquired simultaneously. This presentation will review the ALB survey specifics for Tonga, Niue and Beveridge Reef, the challenges encountered, the benefits of the high-resolution dataset acquired, and the ongoing assessment of the three different technologies to achieve the PRNI goals.