QPS and SonarWiz Streamline Sidescan Workflow

Chesapeake Times, Vol 2 | July 2020

Late last year, Chesapeake and QPS worked together on providing a simplified workflow to process sidescan data that had been collected in the Qinsy software. Raw Database (.db) files recorded in Qinsy can now be imported directly into SonarWiz, without the need for any conversion to XTF.

The Qinsy Database file is a proprietary format and, in the past, required users to have the sonar files converted to XTF before processing. This approach reduces the data processing time and can remove potential errors that might occur during the conversion to XTF. Using the raw Database files ensures that the full fidelity is in place for the sidescan mosaic.
For the file import into SonarWiz, both the raw Database and corrected QPD files are required as each contains specific information for the sidescan and ancillary information. Tools for samples per channel, data compression and frequency selection – all those in SonarWiz for importing sidescan, can be used during this import process.

Using the latest release of SonarWiz, I examine the time from import to final product creation. Granted, processing time will vary based upon computer speed and memory, and I have a mid range laptop for the work. Using a data set collected by The National Oceans and Applications Research Center (NORAC), a survey of 25 lines (6nm of survey data, covering 0.8 square miles) was processed. Also added to the project was an XYZ data set for the DTM.

– Data import: 50 seconds
– Batch Bottom Track: 20 seconds
– 50-cm GeoTiff creation: 25 seconds
– 2-meter grid creation: 15 seconds
– 3D view import and display: 15 seconds

Total time to create a sidescan mosaic overlaid on a bathy DTM was just over 2 minutes. See mosaic and Google Earth images below:
Sidescan draped over Bathy and output in Google Earth
-Harold Orlinsky, General Manager