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Normandeau-APEM logo.Working with APEM to offer Aerial High Resolution Imaging

Two highly experienced and well-known scientific firms—Normandeau Associates, Inc. and APEM Ltd—have teamed up across the Atlantic Ocean to offer aerial high resolution imaging as one component of an integrated strategy for successful permitting of offshore wind energy projects. The Normandeau–APEM team combines extensive knowledge of innovative technology and methods with scientific integrity and regulatory experience. Together we are providing a new standard for offshore wildlife data gathering in North America based on European methodology

airplanes.Our approach is to work with you to design a cost-effective solution based on the unique needs of your project. The process begins with clearly defined scientific-study designs created by the Normandeau–APEM team. We offer flexible equipment and aircraft options to meet project-specific requirements such as size of survey area, survey frequency, weather, and species of particular interest. We also provide you with expert scientific identification of processed images. APEM's image analysis system is the first in the world to gain ISO17025 accreditation from UKAS. Normandeau created ReMOTe for large data storage, efficient data processing and analysis, and visualization.

Solid, Reliable Results to Inform Your Decisions

Loggerhead sea turtle.Because of its superior data quality, lower cost, and increased safety, aerial high resolution imaging has replaced vessel-based observation as the predominant wildlife survey tool for offshore wind ecological studies in Europe.

Normandeau—through a pilot study for the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management—has developed new tools and protocols for adapting this methodology to North America. Combined with APEM’s leadership in aerial high resolution wildlife imaging surveys in the UK and Europe, our team produces an unrivaled capacity to provide bird, marine mammal, and sea turtle studies for coastal and offshore projects in North America. The Normandeau-APEM team is executing the largest ever offshore surveys for BOEM and NYSERDA.

The advantages of aerial high resolution imaging include:

  • Safer than low-altitude conventional survey flights
  • Less expensive per square kilometer than vessel-based surveys
  • High altitude flight (450 to 1,000 m) eliminates wildlife disturbance
  • More precise animal density estimates
  • Increased capability to identify animals
  • Produces a permanent, pre-observer data archive
  • Eliminates observer swamping effects, and other biases are reduced
  • Postconstruction surveys (above the rotor swept zone) are possible
  • Ultra-high resolution imagery that can be fully integrated into all GIS systems
  • Permanent electronic record that can be revisited and cross-referenced
  • Expert, quality controlled processing and analysis of data

See aerial high resolution images captured by Normandeau-APEM team during research and survey projects.

Loggerhead sea turtle.


The Normandeau–APEM team can undertake specific parts of an environmental project or handle the entire work package from beginning to end. Your project will have access to top scientific specialists, making the Normandeau APEM team the obvious choice for a host of existing and new scientific studies.

Normandeau is one of the few science-based environmental consulting firms that provide comprehensive professional services combined with the latest technology and industry equipment to benefit your project. Our offshore wind services include:

  • Planning, Siting, Permitting (with extensive NEPA experience)
  • Agency Coordination and Consultation
  • Site-Specific Preconstruction Studies
    • Wildlife and Protected Species Studies (field, radar, aerial, acoustic, ultrasound, thermographic)
    • Aerial High Resolution Imaging Surveys (birds, turtles, marine mammals)
    • Benthos Surveys
    • Marine Fisheries Surveys
    • Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Surveys
    • Terrestrial, Aquatic, and Wetland Habitat Assessments
    • GIS Mapping and Modeling
    • Essential Fish Habitat
  • Risk Assessments
  • Avian and Bat Protection Plans
  • Strategic Communications
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Postconstruction Monitoring

Representative Projects

Normandeau Associates, Inc. heron.

  • Baseline Surveys in the New York State Offshore Planning Area using Aerial Digital Imagery, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
  • Ecological Baseline Studies of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, North Carolina and South Carolina, using Aerial Digital Imagery, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Pilot Study of Aerial High-Definition Surveys for Seabirds, Marine Mammals, and Sea Turtles on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • New Jersey Offshore Wind Application for Two Offshore Wind Sites and Environmental Impact Analysis of Onshore and Offshore Biological Resources, Bluewater Wind
  • Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Leasing and Site Assessment Activities on the Atlantic OCS Offshore Massachusetts (subcontractor to URS), U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Building a Database to Assess the Relative Vulnerability of Migratory Bird Species to Offshore Renewable Energy Projects on the Atlantic OCS, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Acoustic Monitoring of Temporal and Spatial Abundance of Birds near OCS Structures, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Delaware Offshore Wind Environmental Services, Stakeholder Coordination, Agency Consultation, and Application for Meteorological Tower, Bluewater Wind


  • London Array Offshore Wind Farm, DONG, E.on, Masdar
  • East Anglia One Offshore Wind Farm, Scottish Power Renewables / Vattenfall
  • Hornsea Round Three Wind Farm Zone, SMart Wind (Siemens and Mainstream Renewable Power)
  • Marine Megafauna in the Irish Sea, Aberystwyth University and the Countryside Council for Wales
  • Gwynt-y-Mor and Rhyl Flats Ornithological Surveys, RWE nPower
  • Pentland Firth Ornithological Surveys, Scottish Government and the Crown Estate