The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began developing airborne lidar bathymetry systems for coastal mapping
applications in 1986, and fielded its first system in 1994. In the ensuing years, the Scanning Hydrographic Operational
Airborne Lidar Survey research and development program led to the creation of the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry
Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX), a robust federal government partnership in airborne lidar bathymetry; the
USACE National Coastal Mapping Program, a program of mapping built around airborne lidar bathymetry and
complementary airborne remote sensing technologies; and a healthy commercial field of airborne lidar bathymeter
manufacturers and service providers. The Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging Lidar (CZMIL) is a new USACE sensor
development effort and a partnership among the JALBTCX, Optech International, and The University of Southern
Mississippi. The goal of CZMIL is to produce an integrated lidar and imagery sensor suite and software package
designed for highly automated generation of physical and environmental information products for the coastal zone.
CZMIL is an opportunity to revamp existing hardware and software to address the turbidity and shallow water
limitations of existing systems; improve environmental applications of the data; take advantage of advances in laser,
scanner, and receiver technology, and in signal processing and data fusion algorithms; while maintaining accurate depth
measurement capability. The CZMIL program has been underway since 2006, resulting in a detailed design of the
CZMIL software and hardware. CZMIL fabrication will be complete in 2010 and fielded in USACE operations in 2011.