The Optech SHOALS-1000T laser bathymeter represents the latest generation technology in marine Lidar systems. The SHOALS-1000T is the smallest, lightest and fastest marine Lidar instrument available today. It is one-third the size of its predecessor and is completely portable, meaning that it can be installed on a suitable "local" aircraft of opportunity, including both rotary and fixed wing. As a result, mobilization and demobilization of the SHOALS-1000T is considerably less expensive.

Another significant advantage of the SHOALS-1000T is that it can be operated in either a bathymetric or topographic mode. The system is capable of acquiring 1,000 soundings per second (IHO Order 1) in bathymetric mode and 10,000 coastal terrain elevation measurements per second when operated in topographic mode. This means a coastal zone survey, including land and water can now be conducted from a single platform using the same sensor. Previously, separate systems had to be mobilized either in the same or different planes, again making such mapping programs cost prohibitive in many cases. With the SHOALS-1000T, coastal zone monitoring programs can include land and sea and can be temporally "in sync".

Another major differentiator of the SHOALS-1000T is that it contains an integrated digital camera providing geo-referenced images of the coverage being flown. This not only makes data processing and editing much simpler, it provides additional data products, based on the digital photography acquired during the flights. No other Airborne Lidar Bathymetry system on the market has this "dual mode" capability. Previously, separate planes had to be mobilized in order to fly the bathymetric Lidar, topographic Lidar and aerial photography.

Technical Information:
Lidar Bathymetry

Related Web Sites:
International Lidar Mapping Forum

Related Links:
SHOALS-1000T Brochure
SHOALS-1000T Spec Sheet
SHOALS-1000T Deliverables


SHOALS-1000TThe SHOALS-1000T can also be used for seabed imaging, making it capable of producing Lidar bottom imagery. These estimates of bottom reflectivity are derived through inversion of the bathymetric Lidar equation and measurement of the bottom peak signal on each waveform. It results in imagery that looks similar to that of a sidescan sonar or multibeam backscatter and can be used to identify homogeneous areas of the seafloor. This is a major technological advancement as it means one can now use Airborne Lidar Bathymetry to draw conclusions about bottom type in addition to simply measuring water depths. No other system in the world has this capability.

Optech is currently conducting research and development in the area of sensor fusion on the SHOALS-1000T. Developments are ongoing to add a hyperspectral imaging capability to the system. This means the SHOALS-1000T will provide terrestrial Lidar data, bathy Lidar data, aerial photography, seabed imaging and hyperspectral imaging all within a single sensor package. This is an extremely important advancement and will result in significant market expansion in the area of coastal resource management and environmental assessment.

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