Lincoln Laboratory Using Single Photon in Puerto Rico

Lincoln Laboratory team’s lidar data will allow FEMA to be better prepared if another hurricane strikes the island.

From press release by Rowena Lindsay

Phot o of Inside Lincoln Laboratory DC-3 Photo by Glen Cooper

Inside Lincoln Laboratory DC-3
Photo by Glen Cooper

A Lincoln Laboratory team in Puerto Rico has used the Airborne Optical Systems Testbed (AOSTB) to develop a baseline lidar map of the entire island, showing the latest topographical conditions and debris resulting from Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in 2017. If another hurricane hits the island in the future, FEMA can track the damage that occurs by comparing subsequent lidar scans to the baseline data.

The AOSTB utilizes single-photon-sensitive, time-of-flight imaging technology to collect information about the surface characteristics of the land below. This advanced lidar system, developed by the Active Optical Systems Group, is 10 to 100 times more capable than any commercial system available and can collect wide-area, high-resolution, 3-D datasets very rapidly.

Since completing the first flight campaign, the team is now working with FEMA to understand how the lidar data can best be translated for operational uses. The FEMA Transportation Sector can immediately use the data to identify sections of roads that were damaged or washed away by Hurricane Maria. Data such as those used to model flood plains are valuable for planning new infrastructure.

To read the full press release click here.

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