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Fugro helps NOAA update nautical charts in Alaska for improved maritime safety and commerce

Fugro has completed fieldwork on a hydrographic survey project for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to update nautical charts off the northern coast of Unimak Island, Alaska. In the Bering Sea, the island supports multiple fisheries, a major transit route, and at‑sea cargo transfers. Existing charts in the region do not meet current navigational needs, with data sometimes predating the 1940s. Fugro is helping NOAA address these data deficiencies with new, high‑resolution bathymetry over five sites totaling approximately 1700 km2. These Geo-data will produce new nautical charts, making marine navigation safer and more efficient.

The new bathymetry was acquired from two multi-beam-echo sounder-equipped survey vessels, one focused on near-shore waters, the other on deeper waters located farther offshore. To plan the more challenging near-shore surveys, Fugro employed its SatRecon® service, which combines satellite imagery and proprietary processing techniques for the identification of potential unmapped hazards such as shipwrecks and rock outcrops. Besides improving the safety of the crew, equipment, and the environment, identifying these hazards also increased Geo-data acquisition efficiency, allowing crews to survey the near-shore waters at a faster rate than would have otherwise been possible.

“It was great to work for NOAA in Alaska this summer, and we are thrilled with the way our SatRecon service helped progress the near-shore survey operations,” said Mark MacDonald, Hydrography Director for Fugro in the Americas. “Since the mid-1970s, Fugro has been successfully mapping the seafloor in the state, including many years of nautical charting updates for NOAA, starting in 1998. We understand the operational challenges associated with working in remote parts of Alaska, and to apply innovative solutions on this project, unlocking insights from Geo‑data for a safer and more sustainable ocean economy.”


About Gladys Johnson

Gladys Johnson The Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Global Business Drive Phone: +13465619347, +19796619107 Email:,

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