Great Bay LiDAR Scan With Drones- ARE Corporation
Great Bay LiDAR Scan
Recently, ARE partnered with Quantum Spatial, Inc. to complete a drone-based lidar scan of four locations within Great Bay, New Hampshire, to support ongoing monitoring programs at Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The scan was done to further establish baseline conditions and assist with tracking changes in vegetated subtidal (seagrass) and intertidal (salt marsh) habitats in the Great Bay Estuary.
The seagrass beds provide important habitats for a variety of fish and other animals. Declines in the spatial extent and biomass of seagrass have caused concern in recent years. The salt marshes represent key intertidal habitats for many species and have shown signs of ecological responses to climate change in recent years. The change can be seen in the bay from receding due to the changing precipitation regimes, nutrients, water levels, and temperature. (GreatBay.org)
In the spring of 2019, NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) investigated the viability of using UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) technology to support the next round of high-resolution data collection via LiDAR to further this project. Quantum Spatial, Inc., a contractor for NOAA, chose to work with ARE to plan, mobilize, collect and deliver geospatial (lidar) data. This data would in turn process into accurate digital surface models (DSMs,) to further track elevational changes within the subtidal, intertidal and upland areas consisting of four total sites, each of them being roughly 50 acres in size.