Muscat, Oman: COWI is one of the first engineering companies in Oman to employ aerial survey technology as a tool in mapping out mountainous and inaccessible areas targeted for major infrastructure development, according to a report published on Zawya.com.
The local office of COWI, COWI & Partners LLC, recently used this state-of-the-art technology for the second time in the country while undertaking the engineering design of a section of the strategic Khasab-Lima-Diba road project on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
In Oman, COWI employed aerial mapping for the first time last year, as part of its engineering consultancy study for the Bidbid-Sur Road Dualisation Project, Section II (Ibra-Sur). The company deployed one of its own specially-equipped aircraft to map out an extremely rugged coastal stretch of the Musandam peninsula through which the carriageway is proposed to run.
Using cutting edge Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, the company carried out airborne laser scanning to create a high-precision digital terrain model and produce high resolution orthophotos, based on which a suitable alignment for the road project is currently under preparation.
According to COWI executives, aerial surveying provided the only plausible means to study the alignment of the Khasab-Lima-Diba road project within a sensible time frame. The alignment traverses some of the most rugged terrain Oman can boast of, characterised by towering seaside cliffs that plunge 2,500 metres down to the shoreline below. Elevations are typically about 1,000 metres above sea-level. Furthermore, with no track road existing along the proposed alignment, conventional methods of surveying the route have been rendered futile, dangerous and time consuming.