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Laser Airborne Depth Sounder (LADS)

LADS is a sophisticated Airborne Lidar Bathymetry (ALB) system which accurately measures water depth and collects data over both marine and coastal zone environments. 

The system has been designed for safe, high speed and cost effective surveys of clean, shallow coastal areas in depths up to 80 metres and is complementary to traditional hydrographic survey methods (such as Multibeam) to support nautical charting and coastal zone management applications in the nearshore/shallow water environment. 

Our LADS system can be operated concurrently with complementary topographic and shallow water lidar sensors such as the RIEGL VQ-820-G sensor (or equivalent) and/or hyperspectral cameras.

We have designed the LADS system to enable the coastal zone to be surveyed faster and cost effectively with the collection of high quality data across a wide range of environmental conditions. Leading edge developments in shallow water performance, seabed reflectivity, target detection and operating altitudes are also key functionalities implemented within the Fugro LADS HD ALB system.

Deliverable options include digital depth and topographic data, gridded models, spatial products, seabed reflectivity and georeferenced digital mosaic imagery.


  • Nautical Charting
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Renewable Energy Industry
  • Marine and Coastal Engineering
  • Habitat Mapping
  • Coastal Zone Management

We build and operate the LADS ALB technology and have over 20 years’ experience in continuous development and operation within national nautical charting authorities and commercial operations.

The LADS sensors high powered laser and innovative scanner and receiver optics technology will ensure:

  • Maximum coverage in the coastal and nearshore environment 
  • Depth measurements of up to 80m (subject to water clarity) with minimal gaps.  
  • Greater efficiency surveying shallow water (up to 30 times faster than utilising multibeam technology
  • High quality and accurate data to IHO Order 1a/1b specifications

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