St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Since 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP), in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Park Service (NPS), has acquired numerous laser altimetry data sets in a variety of coastal environments with the NASA-USGS Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) system. The EAARL system is a unique system that uses light detection and ranging (lidar) and differential Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to measure sub-aerial and submerged topography. The EAARL sensor suite incorporates subsystems for acquiring very high-resolution multi-spectral imagery. A successful NASA-USGS collaboration has created a custom processing system for developing topographic products from these data sets. We are currently developing the necessary methodology to produce a data product for the large quantities of color-infrared (CIR) and red-green-blue (RGB) digital multispectral imagery that are acquired by the cameras co-located with the lidar equipment. Utilizing a combination of commercial and custom-written software, we are working towards the capability to produce high-resolution individual orthoimages as well as mid-resolution orthomosaics of the imagery.