NCALM Shallow Water Bathymetry System – Now Available

The National Science Foundation supported National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) contracted with Optech Inc, to develop a first generation high pulse rate green (532 nm) wavelength LiDAR sensor. The new green sensor, designed to operate with the electronics rack from the nearIR Gemini system currently used by NCALM, is capable of acquiring bathymetric data at pulse rates up to 70 kHz, with full return waveform digitization, in water depths up to 10 meters (assuming the diffuse attenuation coefficient of the water is less than 0.1/m, and the bottom reflectivity is >10%). At a flying height of 300 meters, the nominal outgoing pulse density is 10 points per square meter, with a 30 centimeter spot diameter on the water surface. This represents a significant improvement in horizontal spatial resolution over existing off-the-shelf commercial LiDAR bathymetry systems. Assembly of the new sensor was completed in June 2011, and factory performance and system shake-down flight testing are currently underway. NCALM is interested in collaborating with the scientific community in research applications that would benefit from high density and accuracy shallow water bathymetry.



Optech Aquarius

  • Pulse Rate: 70 kHz
  • Scan Frequency: 0 - 70 Hz
  • Wavelength: 532 nm
  • Beam Divergence: 1 mrad
  • Field of View: 0 - 50°
  • Flight Altitude: 300 - 500 m