ABU DHABI, UAE, and BRISTOL, UK, April 30, 2013—Proteus, a provider of satellite-derived bathymetric mapping and seabed classification services, has been awarded a major contract by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) to deliver complete bathymetric surveys of five Irish bays. In addition to operational mapping, Proteus will use satellite data to create a seabed classification map and perform water quality monitoring on one of the bays for proof-of-concept purposes.
GSI issued a competitive request for proposals following a successful 2012 pilot in which Proteus demonstrated the effectiveness of a commercial satellite-based bathymetry process in Ireland’s Wexford Harbour. Developed by EOMAP GmbH and commercialized by Proteus, the technique extracted seafloor elevation measurements to depths in excess of 20 meters with vertical accuracies better than 10% of water depth– using no ground truthing. GSI validated the pilot’s results with a multi-beam echo sounding survey.
“The pilot project proved that our satellite-derived process can accurately extract bathymetric data from inland bays of the turbid North Atlantic as readily as it does from the clear Red Sea and Caribbean,” said David Critchley, Proteus CEO.
The five bays included in the operational contract are among Ireland’s most commercially valuable and environmentally important: Cork, Shannon, Dingle, Dundalk and Carlingford. They include turbulent bays fed by fast-flowing rivers that frequently shift submerged sandbars and significant areas of shallows. As a result, bathymetric surveying can be particularly challenging and expensive using marine sonar or airborne LiDAR. To date, airborne bathymetric LiDAR has failed to achieve coverage in these particular bays.
“Twelve companies responded by registering their interest in the request for proposals issued by GSI, but only Proteus was prepared to commit to deliver the requirements,” said Koen Verbruggen, Director of the GSI. “After the successful Wexford trial in 2012, we would hope that this current program will establish satellite bathymetry as another tool in the INFOMAR mapping toolbox.”
Covering some 125,000 square kilometers of Ireland’s most productive and commercially valuable inshore waters, INFOMAR is producing integrated mapping products covering the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed, including updated bathymetric charts and physical habitat maps, according to GSI.
Proteus works with EOMAP to commercialize satellite-derived bathymetric and seafloor classification processes developed, and owned by, EOMAP GmbH of Munich, Germany. The process extracts seafloor information from high-resolution, 8-band multispectral imagery collected by DigitalGlobe Inc.’s WorldView-2 satellite and acquired by Proteus through its direct relationship with DigitalGlobe. Derived products have high accuracy, meeting the requirements of engineering, environmental monitoring and strategic geospatial planning applications.
“Compared with maritime sonar and airborne LiDAR, satellite-derived bathymetric surveys are completed at a fraction of the time and cost,” said Critchley. “The ecological constraints, submerged reefs, and political issues that hamper traditional hydrographic mapping methods are of no hindrance to us.”
In addition to generating the bathymetric maps for the five Irish bays, Proteus will also deliver a seabed habitat map for one of the bays, also derived from the DigitalGlobe imagery. In Dingle Bay, Proteus will perform water quality monitoring on a demonstration basis. Using a new process applied to NASA MODIS and U.S. Landsat image data, the firm will measure suspended sediments, chlorophyll and other organic matter in the water.
“The Proteus bathymetric mapping process is very cost effective and importantly represents value for INFOMAR as an Irish government program,” said Verbruggen.
Since 2011, Proteus has been producing seafloor survey and seabed classification projects using multispectral satellite imagery and the product generation technology of EOMAP. These mapping projects have been delivered for environmental, oil & gas, marine biology and other coastal zone applications in Europe, the Middle East and Caribbean. These projects have been completed in a fraction of the time & cost of traditional methods.
Based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Bristol, UK, Proteus offers full turnkey global mapping solutions produced from DigitalGlobe’s satellite imagery. It provides customers with cutting edge products for environment, agriculture, forestry and marine use. Proteus management team is comprised of seasoned professionals and provides customers with expert independent advice on derived geospatial products whether it be land or sea. For more information, visit www.proteusgeo.com.