In a hotel conference room on Long Island, New York, a team of experts are processing data and information on computers. Along- side them is a large display monitor screen that's projecting the information. "It's a beautiful thing. On the screen they are able to observe the condition of New York's and New Jersey's coastlines almost in real-time," said Jeffrey Cusano, Geospatial Coordinator, NewYork District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The team is the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise. Recently, Cusano and other members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District seized the opportunity to use this team to obtain cutting-edge survey data about the current condition of New York and New Jersey's coasts. Not only did the team get the data to them fast, but the Army Corps is already using it to monitor and cost-effectively improve its coastal projects, as it enters the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Earlier this year, theArmy Corps tapped the expertise of the JALBTCX that is based at the Army Corps' Mobile District in Alabama. The center's team members perform operations, research, and develop- ment in various airborne geospatial technologies to support the coastal mapping and charting requirements for the Army Corps. The center also partners with the Federal government, which includes the Army Corps, industry, and academia to further develop these tech- nologies to meet its respective programs. One of the center's programs is the National Coastal Mapping Pro- gram. The mission's intent is to acquire regional, high-resolution, high- accuracy elevation and imagery data along the sandy shorelines of the United States on a recurring basis. To obtain this data, JALBTCX uses an aircraft equipped with govern- ment-owned state-of-the-art airborne remote sensing platforms. These platforms are comprised of a lidar sensor with both topographic and bathymetric capabilities, and two additional aerial mapping cameras. The lidar's topographic capability measures the elevation of the coast- line's beach and dune systems and its bathymetric capability measures the seafloor elevations. Army Corps' data driven to improve coastal projects 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season By JoAnne Castagna, Ed.D.
The JALBTCX team standing with COL. Thomas Asbery, Former District Commander, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (far right), in front of their aircraft, at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, New York. Photo: USACE.
The lidar sensor provides highly-detailed and very accurate elevation measurements both on land and under the water, while the two ad- ditional cameras provide very detailed images and spectral information from the same land and water. This data is acquired along the sandy coastlines of the United States, approximately every five years. The last time JALBTCX flew over the coasts of New York and New Jersey was in 2017 and scheduled to fly again in 2022. The Army Corps' New York District wanted to get this information sooner. When the Army Corps discovered that JALBTCX had a small pocket of time available to do a fly, the Army Corps' district coastal team quickly worked together to take advantage of this opportunity. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District Coastal Projects Following are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer, New York District New York and New Jersey Coastal projects that are benefiting from the JALBTCX Mission. • The Manasquan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey Project • The South Shore of Staten Island, New York Project • The East Rockaway to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay, New York Project • The Jones Inlet to East Rockaway Inlet Long Beach, New York Project • The Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point, New York Project and its sub project the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Emergency Stabilization Project To learn more about these projects visit: https://www.nan. usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/.
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