Nearly Headless SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 10 | July 2022 “Nearly headless? How can you be nearly headless?” Although I do not believe Hermione Granger ever had a need to use SonarWiz, we here at CTI have been asking the same question. As our ever-evolving industry (like most others) require increasingly more automation and headless solutions, we have begun to implement more and more automatic options for the SonarWiz workflow but similarly to Sir Nicholas, they are still nearly headless. The problem we needed to solve was how to take the user interaction out of the following steps in the workflow: Recording Data …

Adjusting Sensor Heading for Magnetic Declination

Chesapeake Times, Vol 10 | July 2022 Recently, a client reported that their sidescan data did not properly overlap when projecting the sonar imagery using either the sensor or course made good (CMG) setting—the two heading options available in SonarWiz. In the end, it turned out that the sidescan compass had not been adjusted for magnetic declination. Once we applied the appropriate correction in SonarWiz, the data snapped into alignment and the client was happy. I realized while working though this ticket that some people do not understand how the heading projection options in SonarWiz work. I was also surprised …

Switching SonarWiz geodesy to PROJ

Chesapeake Times, Vol 10 | July 2022 For many years now, the geodesy system in SonarWiz and related utilities has been based on an open source library called CS-Map. Associated with the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (osgeo.org), CS-Map provides functionality that allows for coordinate transformations between combinations of geodetic and grid positions. SonarWiz depends on this functionality to import data recorded with latitude/longitude positioning, among other things. A number of upgrades and alternatives have been explored/tried in the past, and rejected (or in one case, rolled back) for one reason or another. Meanwhile, we’ve had increasing requests for support for …

Real Time Side Scan and Sub-bottom Navigation Improvements

Chesapeake Times, Vol 10 | July 2022 Improvements in SonarWiz sometimes occur mostly under the hood.  These changes alter the way SonarWiz works without changing the way SonarWiz presents itself to the user.  This article details some important changes to how SonarWiz works internally regarding real time navigation data. Previously, SonarWiz would record the navigation data in the real time data files, CSF and XTF or SEGY.   When a user would adjust the position of the sonar using layback, the modified position was saved in the files as well.  The original position was not saved thereby making it difficult …

Updated Project Folder in SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 10 | July 2022 In the next release of SonarWiz, you’ll see a few changes to the Project Explorer. The first, is the addition to a new folder, specifically for LiDAR data files. In the past, these were listed under bathymetry, and the new folder will provide the user a better way to distinguish these two data types. Last year, an option was added to create two files when running a multibeam and Lidar sensor simultaneously. This change continues that work for keeping these files separated, allowing the user to focus on just one sensor as needed. …

Motion Tolerance in SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 9 | April 2022 In the latest release, SonarWiz is now more able to import and process the Motion Tolerant sidescan packet from Edgetech sidescan sonars.  The data packets, stored in subsystem 70 and 71, are collected by the Edgetech 6205s and 4205 Sidescan sonars. Until this update, SonarWiz relied on the data file having either the standard CH1-2 records (subsystem 20 and 21) or having the CH1-2 having already been replaced (using an option in EdgeTech Discover software) by the Motion Tolerant variant. Now, with this update, the sonar operator does not have to decide during …

Automatic Target Recognition with Terradepth Absolute Ocean Platform

Chesapeake Times, Vol 9 | April 2022 We’re happy to announce that Terradepth and Chesapeake Technologies have entered into an agreement to collaborate on a solution for Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) in mosaiced imagery data. This integrated workflow will connect Chesapeake’s SonarWiz software and Terradepth’s Absolute Ocean (AO) platform, making a seamless and straightforward approach from collection to processing and full analysis.  Once a mosaic is provided, the output will generate an area of targets identified. In this image below, the green blocks are targets found by Absolute Ocean’s automated machine learning algorithms. Absolute Ocean is a cloud based platform …

SonarWiz Sub-Bottom Data Topographic Correction

Chesapeake Times, Vol 9 | April 2022 I described our support for Tides in SBP (Sub-Bottom Profiler) data in a previous article (CTI Times #6).  In this new article, I will elaborate on how SonarWiz uses this and the other vertical offset information to correct the sonar image. The Topographic Correction in SonarWiz for SBP (Sub-Bottom Profiler) data straightens out the along track path of the sonar so that it is flat.   The resulting image shows the seafloor as it is in the real world.  In the illustration of an uncorrected image below, the bottom should be a continuous …

Improvements to Digitizer in SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 9 | April 2022 In recent and upcoming releases of SonarWiz, there are a couple of digitizer improvements of note. In 7.9.2, a new feature was added to synchronize scrolling positions between multiple open waterfall windows. Presently, the control to turn this feature on and off is in the Advanced preferences page: Upcoming releases will include a toggle on the digitizers themselves: With this option enabled, and two or more digitizers (SSS/bathymetry or SBP) showing, scrolling in one digitizer will cause the others to scroll to the same position if possible. This enables the user to keep …

Automated Processing of Sidescan and Bathymetry in SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 9 | April 2022 What is Automated Processing? Automated processing is processing without human intervention. The purpose is to quickly and efficiently process large amounts of data with minimal human interaction. For sonar data processing, automation promises to remove or reduce the need for humans to perform routine and repetitive tasks. Automation is also an important component of semi- or fully-autonomous on-board data collection systems that, by design, do not have human operators. In SonarWiz, we have addressed each of these two automation roles in recent releases of the program. First, sidescan and bathymetry each have the …

Map Corrections – Let’s Clean Up These Boulders!

Chesapeake Times, Vol 9 | April 2022 While working with a customer recently, we had to solve an issue that sidescan processors deal with on a regular basis – My sidescan data has navigation issues and I need to use smoothing to clean up the image, but I need to maintain the positional accuracy. What do I do? In this example project after navigation and heading smoothing, my individual sidescan files look clean but as they overlap in the plan view, the same boulders are offset by +/- 15m which really mucks up GeoTIFF exports. Since I know I am …

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 …

Which Way Is Up? – Plan View Rotation

Chesapeake Times, Vol 5 | April 2021 North-up has until recently been the only plan view orientation available in SonarWiz. Views other than the main plan view – the external helm display and the 3D viewer – have been able to orient to the current survey line or vessel, but the plan view has always remained north-up. A recent release of SonarWiz includes as a new feature the ability to rotate the main plan view itself. This allows for easy orientation to a user-specified heading, the current steering line, or actual vessel heading. Real-time collection benefits the most from this; SonarWiz can now …

Speed and Efficient Survey Pattern

Chesapeake Times, Vol 4 | January 2021 The support team at CTI wants you to succeed on your surveyor’s New Year’s resolution, to record higher resolution data using less track lines! Unlike canceling your new gym membership in February, these tips can be helpful long into 2021. The first item to take into consideration to improve the resolution of your sidescan data is to slow down when you are recording. For the across track resolution, SonarWiz will always down sample your data to one of three options (1024, 2048, or 4096) so it doesn’t matter how many samples your sidescan …

Language Support in SonarWiz

Chesapeake Times, Vol 4 | January 2021 During the past few months, we have been working on the translation of SonarWiz into a dozen languages. The goal is to allow for all user interfaces in SonarWiz and the text files created during operation of the program to be translated into the user desired language. The program will run in the same way as before, but now a bit easier for our international clients to navigate through the menus of SonarWiz. The change requires the program to convert the ASCII project to the UNICODE version. Not a trivial task, as the …