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
Single beam shown in 3D with sub bottom data (from the E20)
When the work started, we had a few goals in mind: Full control of the sonar – without the need for other software. Nothing wrong with manufacture’s software, but if SonarWiz can do all the controls, no need to have it run alongside. Secondly, store the data in industry format, so anyone can use it. Of course, processing in SonarWiz would be great, but we did not want to restrict anyone from using other software.

Depth is stored in XTF, sidescan in XTF and sub-bottom in SegY. (note – the last two are not typically considered “single beam”, but these systems are sending more than just depth data). Lastly, store the manufacture’s own file format. It is a bit of a redundancy, but if we are to replace the manufacture’s software, we need to make the same type of file. On the processing side, be able to handle the full datagram from the manufacture’s own format. In the case of the E20, it is their s7k, and the EA440, it is their RAW file.

Odom E20 server to handle the acoustic sub bottom data

SonarWiz has all the tools already developed for multibeam, and leveraged off using them for processing single beam data. Some of the tools for cleaning the data include the swath editor, tides, sound velocity, and RTK tides using external navigation. SonarWiz also added in a beam performance test to validate and ensure the system meets a certain criterion. Tools needed for a final product – Sounding export, with frequency options, tools for gridding and contouring, plus all the tools already in SonarWiz – export to KML, coverage reports, etc. can all be done.

Single beam swath editor Single beam performance Test

Processing the acoustic datagram, SonarWiz uses the sub bottom tools for this data. Although these single beam systems are not a traditional sub bottom system, the datagram provides data from the water column to the sub surface – giving the user more information to use for the analysis.

Stored as a SegY file, the data is imported into the program seamlessly and allows the user the tools of sub-bottom – digitizing acoustic reflectors, measuring thickness, marking contacts. The EA440 also has transducers to generate sidescan imagery. Processing of this data imagery data uses the SonarWiz tools for sidescan mosaicking.

As we continue our work on the single beam module, we will be adding in new sensors and formats. Keep an eye on the server for new additions to the program.

-Harold Orlinsky, General Manger