EOMAP announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide Satellite Derived Bathymetry (SDB) for seven atolls of Tuvalu. The project was awarded through a competitive bid contract issued and overseen by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO).
“SDB is a new technique using modern satellite capabilities to provide remote, rapid and dense bathymetric information over extended areas,” says Dr. Knut Hartmann, director client services at EOMAP. He explains that unlike other survey methods it offers remote mapping of shallow water zones and supports applications such as safety of navigation, reconnaissance surveys, coastal zone management or hydrodynamic modeling.
“SDB uses the intensity and spectral composition of reflected sunlight from the seafloor to derive information about water depth,” says Dr. Hartmann. “High-quality SDB services rely on sophisticated data processing algorithms. Based on more than 20 years of developing and supplying shallow water bathymetric data, EOMAP is a service provider for the coastal and offshore industry, academia and international organizations.”
Acoustic or LiDAR survey campaigns usually involve long lead times and physical site surveys to collect water depth data, resulting in environmental impacts and high costs. Satellite Derived Bathymetry overcomes these hurdles by deriving fit-for-purpose grid resolutions within a limited budget and with the benefits of creating extended coverage within a short time. It creates bathymetric data without physically being in the area of the survey. The demand of accessing bathymetric data for shallow water zones, in combination with the cost and time limitations of ship and airborne survey methods, have led to high interest in this technology as an effective surveying tool.
Dr. Hartmann comments: “EOMAP is proud of being selected again by the UK Hydrographic Office for providing shallow water bathymetric data for the Tuvalu atolls and islands that can benefit from modern surveying, and to help improve safety of ship navigation operating in this region. We are making good progress creating very high resolution bathymetric data grids for the shallow water zone.”
The project is being completed on behalf of the Tuvalu government. The funding is provided under the UK Government's Commonwealth Marine Economies Program, which aims at supporting sustainable growth of Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean regions.
“The increasing number of SDB contracts by entities such as the UKHO shows the maturity of our service,” adds Dr. Thomas Heege, CEO at EOMAP.
As a SDB framework provider for the UKHO, EOMAP won a competitive tender to provide SDB data of southern Antigua in 2015. The shallow water data was included in the ADMIRALTY navigational chart of the area, and the grids are valuable datasets for coastal engineering companies, coastal zone managers and environmental impact studies.