The Port Phillip (PP) and Western Port (WP) bathymetric LiDAR trial is being undertaken to test the feasibility for current generation airborne LiDAR bathymetry to assist with the completion of mapping these bays, as a cost-effective alternative to vessel based acoustic only surveys. The outcome of the trial will be a recommendations report describing the optimal conditions required, for example, tides, weather, turbidity etc., to achieve coverage of the bays, as well as areas where the technology is not suitable.
The Port of Melbourne, Melbourne Water and Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning have a plan to complete the bathymetric mapping of PP and WP bays to allow continued safe shipping, hydrodynamic modelling and coastal zone management. Fugro Marine Australia and FrontierSI provided in-kind support for this trial, with Fugro performing the data capture and FrontierSI managing the project and reporting.
If the technology is deemed suitable, the aim is to find additional project partners with an interest in a seamless, high accuracy bathymetry dataset for PP and WP bays, to become stakeholders in a complete acquisition. The benefits of partnering for a full acquisition include taking advantage of a coordinated, cost-effective, multi-sensor, rapid acquisition approach for these large, complex, shallow water areas, rather than data being collected piecemeal for individual projects. A coordinated approach can serve the needs of multiple users with fit for purpose data.