Fugro announced its intent to purchase an Optech International SHOALS-1000T Airborne LiDAR Bathymeter for coastal zone mapping. Through its operating company, Fugro Pelagos Inc., Fugro has issued a Letter of Intent to Optech International. A purchase agreement shall be finalized in May 2004, with system delivery scheduled for February 2005. Fugro has been providing airborne LiDAR bathymetry services, utilizing the SHOALS-1000T, since a teaming agreement was signed with Optech in February 2003. These services will continue without any interruption. With this purchase, Fugro will become the first commercial survey company to acquire a SHOALS-1000T and will become the only commercial provider of airborne LiDAR bathymetry surveys utilizing the SHOALS-1000T in the world. Fugro has years of airborne LiDAR bathymetry experience, supporting the United States Army Corps of Engineers' SHOALS and CHARTS programs since the early 1990s.

In addition to addressing shallow water hydrographic charting markets, the SHOALS-1000T is the perfect tool for coastal zone mapping. It is the only LiDAR bathymeter in the world that provides both a hydrographic and topographic mode of operation within the same airborne sensor and is configurable in mid-flight at the switch of a button. In addition, the system comes fitted with a co-registered digital camera, providing high quality images at one frame per second. Fugro is now able to provide integrated mapping services that go from land across the beach through to full ocean depth. The SHOALS-1000T, which can provide both bathymetry and seabed imagery in water depths of up to 50 meters, perfectly complements the company's world-renowned acoustic multibeam bathymetry and backscatter capabilities.

The portable SHOALS-1000T can be installed on suitable aircraft of opportunity, allowing cost effective worldwide operations, even in the most remote areas. The system comes with sophisticated mission planning and spatial data processing software, including a three-dimensional "fly through" viewing capability.

Source: Fugro, May 21, 2004