Maryland, USA, 31 May 2006: EarthData International (EarthData) announced on May 31, the award of a $16 million contract by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to produce the first-ever high-resolution image and terrain maps of Papua New Guinea. The Australian Government is funding the project under a memorandum of understanding with the government of Papua New Guinea.
EarthData will deploy its GeoSAR radar mapping system to complete airborne data acquisitions over the 318,000-square-kilometer area. Mounted on a jet aircraft and using two radar bands simultaneously, the GeoSAR system will fly over the area and collect extremely accurate images and three-dimensional models of the forest canopy surface, as well as the terrain beneath the canopy. The resulting data will be used with standard GIS software to support decision-making in a variety of land management and engineering applications.
To complement the radar image maps and terrain models with detailed infrastructure information, Fugro Spatial Solutions Pty Ltd. of Perth, Australia, a team member on this contract, will be responsible for the acquisition of aerial photography over critical infrastructure in 35 individual sites throughout Papua New Guinea. Horizon Geoscience Consultants, of Sydney, Australia, EarthData’s strategic partner in the Asia Pacific region, will provide local project management support, as well as training to Australian Government staff on radar data interpretation.