Edgetech eBOSS – RealTime Collection and Post-Processing

Chesapeake Times, Vol 11 | Oct 2022

Chesapeake Technology offers variety of products to collect and record real-time data from sonar/mapping devices. “Servers,” as we call them, act as a bridge between a running instance of SonarWiz and the hardware or software interface of the sonar device. See the SonarWiz download page (https://chesapeaketech.com/download-sonarwiz/) for a list of currently-supported devices.

In an upcoming release, Chesapeake will include support for a new server, interfacing with the EdgeTech eBOSS system. eBOSS (BOSS is “Buried Object Scanning Sonar”) is a 3D SAS sub-bottom profiler providing sub-surface volumetric imagery. SAS (Synthetic Aperture Sonar) is a technique in which the high resolution normally available from a large receiver array can be mimiced using a smaller array. This technique requires precise navigation and substantial processing for good alignment, so eBOSS systems will normally be outfitted with an inertial motion unit on very stable platforms, with powerful topside boxes for processing.

The eBOSS system, in one configuration, features a 64-receiver array roughly a meter and a half in length. An across-track swath of 20 meters or more can be achieved, with penetration 5-12 meters below the seafloor. See accompanying screenshot from EdgeTech featuring top-down (top right) and side (bottom right) views of volumetric data of an outfall pipe in Buzzards Bay from an eBOSS system.

SonarWiz has been able to import sidescan SAS data in a number of common formats for some time. No special processing was required of SonarWiz for these systems, as they just presented as high-resolution sidescan imagery. The eBOSS system provides 3D volumes, however, and at a fairly high data rate. For real-time collection, the SonarWiz server will allow the user to choose a number of ranges to focus on. From the chosen focus areas, subsets of the data (MIPs, or Maximum Intensity Projections) will be sent to SonarWiz, for monitoring and recording through the sidescan and sub-bottom interfaces.

In addition to real-time collection and recording, SonarWiz will be able to import and process the full volumes after the fact. The server, though choosing subsets of the data to send to SonarWiz, will be capable of recording the full volumes sent by the eBOSS system as-received for later import. Being less time-constrained, the post-processing workflow will be able to make better use of the full volumetric data.

Initial uses for the eBOSS have focused around UXO (unexploded ordnance) detection. Being able to clearly see a buried or partially-buried object aids in identification, and can be used to survey an area for UXO more quickly and accurately than before. Future uses include pipeline and cable survey applications.