LADS (Laser Airborne
Depth Sounder) Survey
is an internationally accepted survey tool which is accurate to IHO standards.
With speeds of up to 65 sqkm/hour it is the fastest, most cost-effective
tool for accurate survey of the entire seabed area at depths of up to
70m in clear waters. It can be efficiently integrated with operations
of various survey ships.
GSI has employed the services of an Australian company, Tenix
LADS Corporation, in both 2002 and 2003 in airborne surveys
off the coast of Mayo. Following an international tender process
in 2003 Tenix won the contract to extend the 2002 survey of Clew
Bay into Newport Bay. In September 2003 the company based itself
at Knock International Airport and in a hotel in Swinford over a
period of a fortnight in preparation for, and execution of, the
had carried out the 2002 survey of Clew Bay over the weekend of the
22nd June. It had been a pilot study to see how appropriate Lidar
technology was for Irish inshore waters since variables such as turbidity
can cause difficulties for the systems. The
evaluation of the pilot study, carried out initially in Australia,
and then in GSI offices focused on survey processes, efficiency of
data collection and data processing, system flexibility, survey coverage
and survey accuracy. The LADS system uses a laser system mounted inside
a fixed wing aircraft to measure the depth of water. Good weather
and clear waters are required for best results.
Survey was a resounding success with the data being delivered of the highest
quality so it was decided to advertise for a follow-up survey in 2003.
GSI wished to extend the survey
area within Clew Bay but contacted Mayo County Council to discuss the
possibility of co-operation. Mayo
CC were happy to co-operate providing the survey area could be extended
to include Newport Bay since such a survey would assist the Council in
its plans to provide a framework for a hydrodynamic model for the Bay.
GSI was able to agree new parameters for the study area with Tenix and
the appropriate contract was drawn up. As the survey preparatory work
was being initiated Moyvalley Resources LTD, a community development organisation
based in Ballina. approached us about the possibility of surveying a portion
of Killala Bay and this too was ultimately included in the Survey area.
Post-survey processing was completed in Tenix offices in Australia and
the formal handover of the final report
took place at the Oceanology 04 conference in London in March 2004.