Fugro’s collaboration with Areté to develop the Rapid Airborne Multibeam Mapping System (RAMMS) has resulted in improved maritime domain awareness for the US Navy.

The accomplishment, which was showcased last week during a Naval Oceanography event held at Southern Mississippi’s Marine Research Center, demonstrates the value of federal investments in private-sector research, development and commercialization efforts.

RAMMS is based on Areté’s Pushbroom Imaging Littoral Lidar System (PILLS), an airborne seabed mapping capability developed through a US Navy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. One of the primary yet challenging goals of SBIR programs is transferring the benefits of federally funded innovations to the private sector. Areté achieved this goal by partnering with Fugro to develop and commercialize RAMMS. As a result, PILLS itself was improved, making it possible to deliver hydrographic mapping of an accuracy and quality that can support numerous data applications, including updated nautical charts.

“We are very pleased to be part of this full-circle technology transfer and successful collaboration between industry and government to the benefit of all parties,“ said Ed Saade, President of Fugro USA. “To see RAMMS’ hydrographic mapping capabilities being incorporated by Areté back into the original PILLS system for the US Navy is extremely gratifying.”

Areté first demonstrated the upgraded PILLS during an Advanced Navy Technology Exercise (ANTX) with the Hydrographic Department at the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) in August. The exercises involved mapping areas of the Eastern Gulf Coast and providing in-depth analysis and post-processing training for Department of Defense personnel at the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise, with participation from NAVOCEANO and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Eric Korpie, PILLS Program Manager: “Areté is proud to have showcased the PILLS technology at ANTX in partnership with NAVO and USACE, and to have teamed with Fugro to successfully deliver a commercial capability that meets the demanding technical requirements of the hydrographic community.”

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