Upon the completion of the prototype CZMIL by Optech International, the University of Southern Mississippi will
conduct a field validation campaign of the system in various environments to evaluate the accuracy of the sensors and
the products derived from the data of those sensors, individually or combined. In addition to the IHO order 1 vertical and
horizontal accuracy assessment of the CZMIL, the effectiveness of the DPS algorithms to map environmental parameters
will be tested and estimated. This paper presents a preliminary campaign plan to realize the positional and thematic
accuracy assessments. To support these efforts, an array of in-situ sensors will be deployed on land and at sea, prior to
and during the CZMIL survey, to obtain a full environmental characterization of the survey site. This program will
identify the materials and methodology for each selected environment to create a standardized field survey procedure.
Algorithms for estimation of the concentrations of suspended particulate matter (SPM) are being developed in order to
fulfill USACE design requirements for the Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging Lidar (CZMIL). The lidar sensor will be
used to characterize bottom depth as well as water column reflectance properties that can be related to SPM
concentrations. Because lidar uses an artificial light source (i.e., the laser), it is considered an active system.
Additionally, CZMIL will make observations of the water column with a hyperspectral imaging sensor, which acquires
images of the magnitude of water leaving radiance at multiple wavelengths. Since the hyperspectral sensor relies solely
on ambient light, it is considered a passive system.
Current research includes the testing and validation of published algorithms for estimating SPM from passive spectral
data produced by ship-borne, airborne and satellite-based sensors, as well as the development of a new active-passive
data fusion algorithm. The new algorithm will combine observations from CZMIL's lidar and hyperspectral sensors.
Data which are being collected in the northern Gulf of Mexico as part of an NSF-funded project will be applied to this
research. These data come from ship-borne hyperspectral radiometers, as well as in situ SPM and optical observations.
These observations will be used to validate the applicability of published SPM algorithms to the project site. This paper
explores the relationship between SPM and two optical parameters used in algorithm development, remote sensing
reflectance and the backscattering coefficient.