U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signs $46 million USD coastal mapping contract


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking to improve their coastal mapping abilities and have signed a $46 million USD contract. The contract is a joint venture between Woolpert and Optimal Geo. Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering, and geospatial (AEG) firm that specializes in geospatial applications. Optimal GEO is a small business geospatial firm that specializes in Photogrammetric Mapping, Orthoimagery, Lidar, GIS, and GEOINT among other things.

The joint venture between these two companies has been dubbed WMR-532 and it will provide bathymetric and topographic lidar and imagery in support of JALBTCX task orders around the world. JALBTCX (Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center) performs operations, research, and development in airborne lidar bathymetry that supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The goal of WMR-532 is to collect and process bathymetric and topographic lidar using the government’s lidar systems (CZMIL – Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging Lidar). CZMIL collects high-res images and 3D data of beaches, shallow water, and the seafloor.

“The 2010 U.S. Census reported that close to 40 percent of the U.S. population lived in counties on the shoreline, and that number was expected to grow by about 8 percent by 2020,” said John Gerhard, Woolpert program director, and vice president. “There is an inherent instability to coastal regions. It’s crucial to acquire the highly accurate data that will be used to address issues in the coastal zone.”

Jeff Lovin, Woolpert senior vice president and the firm’s director of Government Solutions, cited the significance of the mission.

“The near-shore environment that our WMR-532 team will be surveying under this contract is the least-mapped area on our planet due to the wave action and shallow water depth, which prevent ships from being able to map the ocean floor by traditional acoustic methods,” Lovin said. “With aerial bathymetric lidar, we are able to efficiently map this near-shore environment and improve safety of navigation.”

The data the team will collect is expected to help the National Coastal Mapping Program (NCMP) as well as the Naval Oceanographic Office’s (NAVOCEANO) Airborne Coastal Surveys (ACS).

What do you think of lidar coastal mapping? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

[button link=”http://woolpert.com/resource/usace-mobile-district-signs-wmr-532-46m-coastal-mapping-contract/” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Woolpert[/button]

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