Abu Dhabi: Proteus, a provider of satellite-derived mapping and classification services, has launched a habitat mapping solution for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Through the service, Proteus would deliver classification maps of terrestrial areas onshore and the seafloor in shallow-water marine environments.
For its mapping solution, Proteus obtains high-resolution multispectral imagery from commercial imaging satellites, such as DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 platform, which are capable of quickly capturing data anywhere in the world without the limitations of aircraft and ships.
“Energy and infrastructure development projects are under intense pressure to delineate fragile habitats onshore and in the coastal zone as part of their EIA submissions,” said Proteus CEO David Critchley. Mapping sensitive marine habitats in the coastal zone is a particularly challenging aspect of EIA preparation, explained Critchley. Divers are typically deployed to collect hundreds of ground truth points underwater, which are later used to delineate the boundaries of various habitat or land cover types on the seafloor. This process is time consuming, logistically complicated and does not provide a full picture of the sea floor environment.
Proteus claims for seafloor and terrestrial areas, it can deliver habitat maps with horizontal accuracy of five meters, and satellite image is included in the deliverables. Offshore, the habitat classification process is accurate to a depth of up to 20 meters, depending on water clarity, the company claims. The minimum mapping unit varies with the client’s needs and resolution of satellite imagery. Satellite-derived bathymetric data is also offered as a product of the technique.
The solution is designed for use by engineering and construction firms, environmental consultancies and government agencies involved in the development of energy infrastructure, pipelines, power stations, desalination plants, port facilities and other projects where EIAs are mandated.