SonarWiz Introduces Quick Start Training

Chesapeake Times, Vol 8 | January 2022Getting Started with SonarWiz   If you are new to SonarWiz and purchase at least one new SonarWiz  license, we want to make you and your team comfortable using it. New for 2022, we offer a complimentary 2-hour Zoom session to get you started. The session covers installing and licensing SonarWiz and a brief tutorial on using SonarWiz to process a sample data set. During the class, we answer as many SonarWiz questions as time allows. Up to 5 people can participate in this Zoom session, to be held during our normal business hours, 9:00am – …

Sub-bottom and Bathymetry: Contacts aren’t just for Sidescan!

Chesapeake Times, Vol 8 | January 2022 One of the most powerful tools in the sidescan post processing arsenal of SonarWiz is the contact, an item which location and characteristics can be captured and saved. After these contacts are created on sidescan files they can be edited, measured, classified, and final reports can be built for your customer in a variety of formats. But did you know that users processing multibeam and sub-bottom data can also utilize these features? For sub-bottom data, contacts can be placed in the digitizing view similarly to drawing reflectors. In a situation where the user …

Validation of SonarWiz Multibeam Server

Chesapeake Times, Vol 8 | January 2022 When we have a new release here at Chesapeake, the software goes through several different types of tests. Whether through automated (Ranorex) or manual testing, we look to ensure the update works as expected. This all works well, until we need to test our real time servers. Simulators and playback only work up to a point, and it isn’t until we find ourselves on a boat with a real system that can we validate the driver and the updates to the program. Recently, I spent two days with Mike and Nick at Seahorse …

SonarWiz Support for NavLab Navigation

Chesapeake Times, vol 8 | January 2022 New in SonarWiz 7.09, we are introducing binary support for Kongsberg NavLab BIN files to SonarWiz. Kongsberg uses NavLab post-processing software to calculate optimal position estimates for the HUGIN family of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). NavLab computes the orientation and velocity of the AUV, based on available sensors, such as GPS/acoustic positioning, doppler velocity and inertial measurement records. Navigation processed with NavLab is always more accurate than a real time navigation system with comparable sensors. Because NavLab processing occurs after the mission is completed, raw sonar data collected during the mission needs to …

Plan View Contact Capture

In the past, selecting the “Capture Contact” button on the SonarWiz map toolbar, then clicking on a contact on the plan view, would always bring up the waterfall digitizer for the file selected and scroll to the area clicked on, for subsequent contact picking. There were some reasons for this behavior, as the digitizer often allowed a significantly better view of the target area, and after-the-fact contact edit options were limited. With subsequent plan view drawing and contact editing improvements, though, this restriction has become mostly unnecessary, so people have been asking for it to be dropped. In the upcoming …

SonarWiz Development: V7.09.00 and Beyond

Chesapeake Times, Vol 8 | January 2022 Some of you may have noticed that we have gone a while without a new SonarWiz release. SonarWiz V7.08.01 was released in September. Development on SonarWiz V7.09.00 was started in the spring of 2021. During this time the CTI engineering department has put a lot of work into SonarWiz V7.09.00. A lot of this work has been in preparing SonarWiz for localization. Localization basically means translating the application’s user interface into a different language. We are handling this in 3 steps: Change most of the places we handle words and sentences, known as strings, to handle more characters. Gather …

Updating Support and Documentation to the 21st Century

Chesapeake Times, Vol 7 | October 2021 Some of our legacy users can remember 20+ years ago when contacting the support team for then “SonarWeb” (the long-ago predecessor of SonarWiz) was simply giving John Gann a ring on his personal number. Over the past few years our goal has been to update our support systems so that our customers can have access to fast and knowledgeable assistance on not just SonarWiz but the industry as a whole.  After moving our online support desk over to JIRA in 2018, we have now begun to move our Knowledge Base of documentation over …

Mind the Gap – in Sidescan

Chesapeake Times, Vol 7 | October 2021 The traditional sidescan system with port and starboard channel have the inherent “space” between the channels when viewing the data. Once bottom tracked, the two sides get stretched to form a filled area. However, the imagery at and close to nadir is never ideal; identifying targets are difficult, and any shadows from them would be small. Standard operation would be to run additional sidescan lines offset from the original line, with good imagery to fill in the data at the nadir area. A decent solution but one that comes with a penalty. A …

Creating Single-Band GeoTIFFs of Sidescan Data

Chesapeake Times, Vol 7 | October 2021 What is a Vertical GeoTIFF?? GeoTIFF is a public domain metadata standard which allows geo-referencing information to be embedded within a TIFF file (Wikipedia). Normally, the GeoTIFF format is used for geo-referenced images, where each pixel in the TIFF represents a color to display at a specified geographic location. The metadata in the TIFF encodes the geospatial information needed to render the image at the appropriate location on the earth. SonarWiz offers extensive support for exporting seafloor imagery in this format.  More recently, GeoTIFFs have been used to encode physical measurements rather than just imagery. …

Quick Survey Time Estimation

Chesapeake Times, Vol 7 | October 2021 There are a handful of tools in SonarWiz, that, together, can help you make quick work of putting together a survey time estimate. After creating a project in the intended location/zone, create or import a closed polygon feature matching the area to be surveyed. In this example I’ll import a 1.8km x 1.9km rectangle from a shapefile; if no vector representation of the area is available, making a closed polygon feature by hand will do for a quick estimate.  Right-click the Features node of the Explorer tree and select “Import…” to open the feature …

Creating a GeoTIFF From an Online Basemap

Chesapeake Times, Vol 7 | October 2021 SonarWiz contains many individual capabilities. This alone makes it powerful software. These capabilities can be combined in various ways to extend that functionality. In this article I will go over one such use where I will configure an Online Basemap and then convert it to a GeoTIFF Basemap.  In SonarWiz, a Basemap is a raster or vector map that is shown on the Plan View behind the sonar and other imagery. SonarWiz has many types of maps that it can use as a Basemap. The Online Basemap option will download the satellite image from an online database. While …

New Far Field Tracking for Sidescan Data

Chesapeake Times, Vol 6 | July 2021 In version 7.07.05 of SonarWiz, we added the ability for sidescan users to track the far-field of their data in post processing in order to remove erroneous data that was captured during the survey. Often times when recording sidescan data in a narrow river or canal, you will often see the edges of your swath range display washed out like the image below. In prior versions of SonarWiz, you could use the Far Field Threshold tool in the Advanced Settings dialog to attempt to remove this data, but it offered almost no control …

A New Tool for Bathy Editing

In the latest version of SonarWiz, processing bathymetry just got a little easier. (In my opinion, of course). Editing data is relatively straightforward, finding those soundings that are “flyers” or “anomalies”, which as hydrographers, we determined are invalid and need to be removed. But sometimes we miss finding the sounding and it remains in the dataset, requiring us to go back into the editor for further editing. It could be just one or two points from hundreds of thousands of good ones. SonarWiz 7.8.0 has a new editing tool to work directly on the bathy data in the main display …

Applying Antenna Elevations SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 6 | July 2021 When real-time kinematic (RTK) corrections are available in the survey area, it is possible to achieve sub-decimeter vertical positioning of the sonar system without the need to apply tides or vessel squat measurements. Bathymetry collected in this way is referenced to the satellite ellipsoid rather than to the more conventional orthometric or tidal datum, so it is usually required to apply a vertical transformation to move the bathymetry into the desired output datum. SonarWiz has all the tools needed to perform these calculations in a straightforward workflow.  Navigation and Attitude Editor  The first …

Adding Tides & Starting Elevation to Sub-Bottom Data

Chesapeake Times, Vol 6 | July 2021 New for SonarWiz 7.8.0 – we are adding the ability to utilize Tide data to correct Sub-Bottom sonar data.  In addition to Tide data we are also adding a Starting Elevation value for each Sub-Bottom file. This will allow the user to specify the elevation for the survey.  SonarWiz Sub-Bottom data has several sources of Elevation data and Depth data: These data add together to describe where the sonar is located vertically. In other words a Vertical Offset of the Sub-Bottom sonar data. This information together with the travel time will allow a more accurate location for …

Expanded CSF Sample Count Options

Chesapeake Times, Vol 6 | July 2021 Recently we’ve seen a good amount of interest in higher-resolution sidescan. Recordings can be made at 10,000 or more samples per channel, to allow for centimeter-level resolutions over relatively wide swaths. Customers want to make the most of the systems they’ve invested in and offer high-resolution deliverables. To accommodate these needs, the upcoming 7.8.0 release of SonarWiz will include some new sidescan import sample count options. Previously, sidescan files could be imported with 1024, 2048, or 4096 samples per channel. Now, a user-selectable or automatically-detected number of samples can be imported, with a …

GeoAcoustics partnership for PulSAR & GeoPulse

Chesapeake Times, Vol 5 | April 2021 Chesapeake Technology is excited to announce a partnership with GeoAcoustics Ltd to provide users a complete survey solution, combining hardware and software for a seamless operation of sidescan and sub bottom sonar systems. All purchased PulSAR Sidescan and GeoPulse Compact Sub Bottom sonars will come with the complete SonarWiz data acquisition package. Customers will be provided with a special version of the SonarWiz installer that already includes the real time server needed and unlike other servers that can only simply read information being broadcast from the system, it can be operated without the …

New Advances in SonarWiz Single Beam

Chesapeake Times, Vol 5 | April 2021 Single beam sonars are like the middle child – always there, but never given much attention. An easy-to-use system, to set up and to process data, and widely used around the world in hydrography, and always forgotten. Here at Chesapeake, we decided to give it its 15 minutes of fame and spent time last quarter updating the program with new tools and features, enhanced our servers. We worked with manufactures to capture and process their full stream of data. Two systems in place now are the Teledyne Odom E20 and the Kongsberg EA440 …

New SonarWiz Splash Screen

Chesapeake Times, Vol 5 | April 2021 A lot of software applications have a Splash Screen and many of us do not really think much about it. From time to time the Splash Screen may change. Typically the text changes while the graphics change occasionally. We have updated the Splash Screen in our up and coming SonarWiz V7.07.05. Below is a screenshot of our old Splash Screen and of our new one to highlight the changes. Old Splash Screen (pre SonarWiz V7.07.05) New splash screen The Splash Screen is the user’s introduction to SonarWiz. The Splash Screen serves as an important indicator about the startup …

Updates to Gains in 7.07.05

Chesapeake Times, Vol 5 | April 2021 In SonarWiz 7.07.05 we will be introducing several changes to the sidescan and sub-bottom gain dialogs to make them easier to use and to support a new workflow for EGN. We’ve also removed an undocumented normalization step in gain processing that dates back to the 8-bit era of SonarWiz. Taken together, these changes may affect how your processed data looks, especially if you stack gains to achieve a particular effect. We hope that the changes make it easier to understand how gains are being applied to your data. A bit of SonarWiz HistoryUntil …