All posts by Matteo Luccio

Capturing the Bluestone Dam

Above: Bluestone Dam is a concrete gravity dam located just upstream of the confluence of the New and Greenbrier Rivers near Hinton, West Virginia.   Editor’s note: Because the Bluestone Dam is critical infrastructure, the Corps cannot display images of its insides. In fact, security is one of the key reasons it didn’t contract out the...

Survey. Dredge. Repeat: Keeping the Columbia River Navigable

As the skipper of Galileo 3, a 30-foot sailboat on the Columbia River, I tell my crew that I am comfortable with 15 feet of water under the keel, get nervous when it drops below 10 feet, and take immediate action if it drops below 6 feet. That’s because I cannot constantly monitor my chart...

Satellite Signals Steer Farmers Straight

Precision agriculture combines GPS, remote sensing, and GIS to capture large amounts of georeferenced data on spatial variations in soil types, moisture content, nutrient availability, and crop yields and then create and follow prescription maps. Until recently, it was difficult for growers to correlate soil and crop information with production techniques, so they generally treated...

Tethered Aerostats Provide Another Option in the Sky

Geospatial professionals are able to choose from an increasingly wide array of platforms on which to deploy ever more accurate and smaller sensors. Lately, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been getting most of the buzz (pun intended). However, in many situations, high-tech versions of one of the earliest flying devices, tethered aerostats, are a better...

From Shore to Floor

Today’s technology records depth from land to deep waters accurately and efficiently. More than 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea, according to the International Maritime Organization. Therefore, accurate and up-to-date charts of coastal waters for ship navigation are vital for world commerce. The current expansion of the Panama Canal, which will double...

Mobile System Alerts Dubai Drivers of Approaching Sandstorms

Periodically, large sandstorms and low-visibility conditions wreak havoc in the Middle East, with potentially deadly consequences for drivers. In 2007, a sandstorm in Saudi Arabia caused a pileup involving about 80 cars. In 2008, low-visibility conditions caused a 200-car pileup on the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, killing about 25 people. In April 2012, a...