The JALBTCX team showing COL. Thomas Asbery, Former District Commander, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the airborne remote sensing platforms on their aircraft. Photo: USACE.
Cusano said, "They used these sensors to gather a swath of information all along the beach area that included between 1,000 and 2,000 meters of the nearshore and onshore area." In addition, the JALBTCX teamwill soon provide theArmy Corps with what is called a Change Analysis. To perform this analysis, JALBTCX used this newly-acquired 2020 continuous digital elevation dataset and compared it to their dataset from the last time they flew in 2017. Results will reveal where erosion or loss of sand occurred and where deposition or accumulation of sand occurred along the coastlines of New Jersey and New York between 2017 and now. Cusano said, "We now have valuable information that shows us where there may be storm damage and sand loss that requires repairs. It also shows us how we are progressing with on-going coastal projects, of which we have done many in the last three years." Suzana Rice, Senior Coastal Engineer, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, "This data is a great tool for us to monitor and understand our coastlines, and compare data from previous years, to use during the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season." She added that the timeliness of the data, having been delivered only in ten business days after the last flight, was helpful and enabled one particular coastal project to move along faster. "Because of this new data, we were able to expedite the pre-construction engineering and design phase of the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point Project." She added that this data is also being used to cost effectively create the plans and specifications for the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Emergency Stabilization Project. When plans and specifications are created by the project team, the team has to have an idea of how much sand will be needed to replenish the beach. Without this JALBTCX data, traditional surveying techniques would have had to be done and this would have taken longer and been more expensive. The JALBTCX data is also being used to perform environmental work on some of these coastal projects. COL. Thomas Asbery, Former District Commander, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers watching the JALBTCX team working in their flight operations and data production center they stood up in a hotel conference room in Islip, New York. Photo: USACE.
"They wanted to understand the current coastal condition and how it compared to the 2017 condition to see what work needs to be done now to improve the condition of the coasts. This work may involve such things as sand replenishment and environmental work. They also wanted to see if the work they already performed is functioning well," said Cusano. Over a two-week period in late January, the JALBTCX team flew their lidar and cameras over portions of the New York and New Jersey coasts. The Army Corps' coastal team worked closely with the JALBTCX team to design flight plans that would produce good data coverage over New York District's coastal projects. Approximately, 157 miles of coast was flown. The area included a stretch of coast from Manasquan Inlet to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, a portion of Staten Island, New York and another stretch on Long Island from Rockaway Inlet to the tip of Montauk Point, New York. The Army Corps projects the flights covered can be viewed in the sidebar "U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District Coastal Projects." To capture the best data, the flight crew flew primarily during daylight hours at or near low tide, at an altitude of 1,300 feet above ground level and at an air speed of 140 knots. They flew overnight operations only in the vicinity of John F. Kennedy International Airport in order to work with existing airspace restrictions. The survey aircraft operated out of the Long Island MacArthur Airport, in Ronkonkoma, NewYork. Nearby, in Islip, NewYork, the JALBTCX team stood up a flight operations and data production center in a hotel conference room. There the team stored its equipment, conducted twice-daily flight op- erations meetings, and networked a series of computers that were used to download data from each day's flights, process and quality control the data, and develop it into data products for use by the Army Corps.
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