Press Release

Virgin Islands Shipping Registry
Release Date:
Monday, 24 September 2018 - 4:44pm

A Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) survey will be carried out in the Territory from September 26.

Acting Director for the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Captain Raman Bala explained that LIDAR is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distances to the Earth.

Captain Bala said, “LIDAR data supports activities such as inundation and storm surge modelling, hydrodynamic modelling, shoreline mapping, emergency response, hydrographic surveying, and coastal vulnerability analysis.”

During the course of the survey, the contractor will be operating survey equipment from within the aircraft which consists of a bathymetric laser capable of measuring depths; a topographic laser capable of measuring the sea surface and heights over land; an RGB camera taking high resolution imagery and survey grade GPS receivers which will be used to position the aircraft in flight.

The aircraft will operate at heights of between 300m and 500m at speeds of around 120 knots whilst undertaking surveys in the Territory.

Captain Bala said, “The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry is very grateful to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office for undertaking this survey as the data captured will allow the nautical charts to be updated for Safety of Navigation as well as subsequently be used by other Government Departments to support other areas such as Climate Change Resilience, Planning, Environmental Management and Disaster Response Planning.”

AWH Limited has been contracted by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office to undertake seabed surveys as part of the Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme.

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is an executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Defence that collects and supplies hydrographic and geospatial data for the Royal Navy and merchant shipping, to protect lives at sea. Additionally, the office works with other national hydrographic offices to set and raise global standards of hydrography, cartography and navigation.

For more information on the LIDAR survey, persons should contact the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry at 468-9646.

Photos attached:

  1. Official photo of Acting Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Captain Raman Bala. (Photo credit: GIS)
  2. Image of the highlighted areas where the aircraft will be undertaking surveys at heights of between 300m and 500m at speeds of around 120 knots. (Photo credit: Provided)


Bria Smith

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Telephone: 468-2747