Fugro to map Northern Ireland’s coastline
Fugro has won a contract to make a survey of the whole Northern Ireland coastline. The contract is part of a project from the Irish Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to create a detailed 3D elevation model of the coast.
First use of RAMMS-technology in UK
The survey will acquire satellite-derived bathymetry (SDB) data. For the first time in the UK, Fugro will use its Rapid Airborne Multibeam Mapping System (RAMMS) technology to collect lidar bathymetry data.
Work on the project started this month and Fugro’s hydrographic experts are acquiring the geospatial data in cooperation with the German-based firm Eomap that is specialized in optical remote sensing of aquatic environments. Eomap will use their remote sensing technology to map the seabed along the entire coastline to a depth of approximately 10 metres.
Systematically collected data
Northern Ireland's agency DAERA is in need of a complete baseline of the 763 km long Northern Ireland coast.
The agency has numerous bathymetric, nearshore and onshore surveys of the coastline but they have not been collected systematically. This new survey will allow for the identification and ongoing monitoring of the most vulnerable sections of the coast.
To identify areas most at risk of coastal erosion and marine flooding, and those that may be under future threat, the resulting 3D model will help to inform policy makers, coastal managers, terrestrial planners, marine planners and other interested stakeholders.
Faster data capture
The lightweight RAMMS sensor can be operated from a small aircraft or an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV), to capture high-resolution data of a pilot area to depths of three times the visual water clarity.
For nearshore projects, these technologies have many advantages over the multibeam echosounder systems used on traditional survey vessels, including faster rates of data capture, less time spent on site, and reduced technical and safety risks.
Huug Haasnoot, Fugro’s Director for Land Asset Integrity in Europe and Africa, said: ‘Our remote sensing solutions are ideal for mapping complex coastlines.’
Haasnoot expects the survey will greatly add to DAERA’s understanding of coastal erosion and wave action in Northern Ireland. ‘This project is also a great opportunity to utilise our RAMMS technology, already proven throughout North America and the Caribbean, and now for the first time in the UK to capture high-resolution bathymetry data.’