GeoEye, Inc., a leading producer of satellite and aerial imagery and geospatial information, today announced MJ Harden's acceptance of Optech's Airborne Laser Terrain Mapper (ALTM) Gemini 167 LiDAR imaging unit. MJ Harden is now able to merge imagery from their current digital mapping camera with LiDAR imagery to produce enhanced products ideally suited for large-scale mapping projects, such as mapping flood plains, coastal zones and public right of ways and corridors. This is especially important in the pipeline, oil and gas, mining, urban planning, disaster management, and utility and telecommunications industries.
LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection And Ranging, is a remote sensing system used to determine the elevation of an object on the ground. LiDAR data are used to produce highly detailed elevation or terrain models. Mounted on an aircraft, the LiDAR system is fully integrated with an airborne global positioning system (GPS) and inertial measurement unit to record hyper-accurate horizontal position and vertical elevation values of precise points on the ground. The Gemini is the latest LiDAR product released by Ontario, Canada-based Optech.
"We are excited to be one of a handful of companies in North America to add the ALTM Gemini LiDAR system to our outstanding suite of products," Doug Leibbrandt, MJ Harden's general manager. "We chose the ALTM Gemini because of Optech's advanced technology and their reputation as an industry leader. This new sensor will increase our efficiency and help us continue to meet current and future demand for high-quality geospatial services."
Bill Wilt, GeoEye's vice president for North American Sales, said, "This sensor will enable us to respond to our government and commercial customers where there are requirements for precise high-resolution data. This is particularly useful in assessing damage over natural or man-made disasters and for helping our government in their planning for security around major special events such as political conventions, major sporting events or summits."
GeoEye purchased MJ Harden in March 2007. GeoEye also owns and operates the IKONOS satellite and is nearing completion of the integration and testing of its next-generation commercial satellite, GeoEye-1. This space-based camera will provide imagery with a ground resolution of 0.41-meter panchromatic (black & white) and 1.65-meter multispectral (color). When operational, GeoEye-1 will be the world's highest resolution and most accurate commercial imaging satellite. The launch of GeoEye-1 is slated for late first quarter or early second quarter 2008 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.