Airborne Remote Sensing of Trafficability in the Coastal Zone

In September 2007, NRL, in partnership with multiple institutions, undertook a combined airborne multi-sensor remote sensing campaign and in situ validation effort. The experiment, VCR’07, took place at the Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR), a National Science Foundation–funded Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The study area comprised an 1880 km2 region of barrier islands, shallow water lagoons, and mainland marsh systems (Fig. 4). This article describes the results of a subset of experiments conducted during the campaign demonstrating the retrieval of soil bearing strength directly from hyperspectral remote sensing on the VCR barrier islands. Bearing strength, or “trafficability,” is a key parameter needed by military planners to identify littoral penetration points. The study also developed and tested new methods for retrieval of shallow water bathymetry, another important parameter needed by amphibious craft during landing.


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