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The Capitolist: Harris Technology Bolsters North Carolina’s Natural Disaster Preparedness

Friday, March 09, 2018


An innovative Harris Corporation technology that allows more detailed 3-D aerial mapping is helping North Carolina become better prepared for natural disasters – and it could also help the company’s home state of Florida, company officials said.

The technology, called Geiger-mode LIDAR, has detailed about 1/3 of North Carolina’s complex topography for the state’s flood risk mapping tool. Harris is working with partner ESP Associates to provide more detailed data with more consistent accuracy, helping emergency management officials prepare the state for future natural challenges. For more details on the North Carolina project follow this link.

Florida dodged hurricane-season bullets for years before Irma’s major impact to most of the state in 2017. The House created the Select Committee on Hurricane Preparedness, which released recommendations on how Florida can be better prepared for when another storm hits. Among them was pursuing better mapping for flood zones and flood insurance, and that’s where Geiger-mode LiDAR comes in, Harris representatives said.

The Florida maps have not been updated for decades, putting Florida emergency management officials at a disadvantage.

Because Geiger-mode LiDAR uses a special airborne sensor, it is capable of collecting elevation data from a much higher altitude, from many more angles and at a much higher density than traditional, older LiDAR technologies. These features give Geiger-mode LiDAR the advantage in collecting elevation data over very large areas, such as an entire state, in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner. In a 2017 statewide needs assessment study, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection found that higher density elevation data collection – like Gieger-mode LiDAR – had the best return on investment for

For more information on Geiger-mode LiDAR follow this link.


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