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ASTRA’s Disruptive Lidar Technology Presented at AGU

ASTRA’s Lidar Technology Discussed at the 2016 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Revolutionary Lidar TechnologyAt the 2016 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, ASTRA presented our disruptive technology for highly accurate Lidar measurements of water depth, underwater infrastructure, and underwater objects. The technology has applications in natural resource monitoring, glacial melt ponds, water capacity planning, military logistics, natural disaster assessment and recovery, underwater infrastructure, as well as risk assessment for industrial retention ponds.

Revolutionary Lidar Technique

ASTRA has developed a novel Lidar system that allows for an accuracy and precision of better than 1cm by exploiting the polarization properties of the light-surface interaction. This 1cm resolution means that water as shallow as 1cm can still be measured. This shallow-water capability opens up a myriad of new applications that have previously been unimaginable with existing technologies. Hence the new ASTRA system can transition seamlessly from measurements over land, through shallow water, and into deep water allowing for shoreline charting, measuring water volume, mapping bottom topology, identifying submerged objects and inspection of infrastructure such as bridge pilings. The new Lidar system weighs less than 10 lbs, opening up the opportunity to build handheld or UAS-mounted Lidar bathymetric systems, and the potential for new applications.

One cm ResolutionThe high laser pulse repetition rate allows for very fine horizontal resolution while the photon-counting technique permits real-time depth measurement and object detection. The enhanced measurement capability, accuracy, portability, scalability, relatively low-cost, and real-time nature of the ASTRA Lidar creates the opportunity to perform frequent high-accuracy monitoring and measuring of aquatic environments and submerged infrastructure. The system has been tested and validated at the US Geological Survey’s indoor river in Golden CO.

This winter, it will be used to measure levee over-topping and levee erosion in Mississippi, and in the summer of 2017 we anticipate working with the US government to map the Grand Canyon. At the AGU, ASTRA presented results from recent campaigns measuring water depth in flowing creeks and murky ponds, demonstrating that the method is not limited by rough water surfaces and can map underwater topology through moderately turbid water.

Technical Contact

Gerald Thompson, VP of Operations | Business Development
Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates, (ASTRA) LLC
E-mail: gthompson@astraspace.net
Phone: (303) 993-8039