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Military Tested Topo-Bathy Drone

image of Military Tested Topo-Bathy Drone

The Australian military tested a new Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) equipped drone designed to support amphibious operations. Using the sensors, the drone, an S100 unmanned aerial vehicle, performed bathymetric and littoral light detection during this year’s ‘Exercise Sea Raider’. Deployed from the HMAS Adelaide, the drone projected green wavelength laser beams through the sea surface to map the seabed and beach topography, an official statement said.

From an article in Interesting Engineering by Christopher McFadden.

Laser scanning scout

The effectiveness of the new mapping technique was also evaluated at different altitudes. The S-100 drone can fly for several hundred kilometers in most weather conditions, day or night. It can also be integrated with a mothership’s system to assist in intelligence and air traffic control missions.

“[With the new technique] we generate survey plans for landing areas, then create 3D flight profiles and gradients, either electronically or paper, which are used as a briefing tool of shallow water bathymetry, beach, back of beach topography,” Australian Amphibious Force Lieutenant Commander Thomas Lennards explained. “The surveys are used to navigate hazards, beach entry and exit points, helicopter landing zones, bridges, hinterland, and terrain,” he added.

“We have overlays of nautical charts and satellite imagery used to make sure the information is current with our collection and compare anomalies with what’s scanned compared to what is charted,” he continued.

Experts from the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) also tested hand-held 3D laser scanners on the HMAS Adelaide for tactical applications, including battlefield damage assessment. DST Geography Scientist Dr. Alexander Lee stressed the importance of scientific service trials like sensor demonstrations.

“We participate in major exercises to understand how the outputs of scientific research can be accelerated through the transition into operational use. This seeks to make the warfighter more effective for their missions,” Lee said. “It’s about talking to people, either day or night, to better understand how science can be used to resolve issues or identify new opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of the ADF,” he added.

For the complete article on military tested CLICK HERE.

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