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Two years in the making of the Backscatter Working Group: results and potential for the future


Lurton, X and Lamarche, G and Brown, C and Heffron, E and Lucieer, V and Rice, G and Schimel, A and Weber, T, Two years in the making of the Backscatter Working Group: results and potential for the future, GeoHab 2015 Programme, 3-8 May, Salvador, Brazil, pp. 1-9. (2015) [Conference Extract]

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The Backscatter Working Group (BSWG) was instated in the wake of the GeoHab 2013 conference's workshop on the use of backscatter data provided by seafloor-mapping sonars. All attendants from a range of scientific domains, including researchers, engineers, sonar manufacturers and software developers supported the launch of the working group, with the purpose of synthetizing the state-of-the-art in sensors and techniques available today, and proposing best practice for acquisition and processing of multibeam sonar backscatter data.

The BSWG has since worked on preparing guidelines for operators, scientists and end-users as well as recommendations for sonar manufacturers and software developers. The resulting document entitled "Backscatter measurements by seafloor-mapping sonars: Guidelines and Recommendations" is organized in seven chapters coordinated by a lead-author and written by groups of specialist:

1. an introduction to backscatter measurements by seafloor-mapping sonar;

2. a chapter providing a background on the principles of sonar and physical backscatter, with some fundamental definitions;

3. a discussion on userís needs based on a short survey from a wide spectrum of community end-users;

4. a review on backscatter measurements by actual bathymetric echosounders;

5. an analysis of best practices in backscatter data acquisition ;

6. a thorough review of backscatter processing principles with details on present software implementation;

7. a synthesis and a number of key recommendations.

Appendices featuring bibliographic references and a terminology index are also included.

The release of the final report at GeoHab 2015 concludes this ambitious two-year project conducted by the BSWG. Designed to reach a wide audience of scientists, engineers, operators and stakeholders all using sonar backscatter for seafloor-mapping applications, the BSWG report proposes fundamentals of the topic, a state-of-the art of techniques, and a number of recommendations for future systems and processing. To date more than 120 peoples, of which more than 20 actively contributed to the report writing, have expressed a direct interest in the work undertaken by the BSWG and registered to a group email address.

The presentation will recall the BSWG mandate, structure and work program, and detail the various chapters. It will focus on the conclusions of the report, and in particular on its recommendations to end-users, sonar-system manufacturers, and developers of processing software. We will discuss the future of the group and possible new initiatives, in particular the development and implementation of standardized procedures for sonar calibration, and data acquisition, processing, and representation. This is so that the BSWG may expend and progress for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:multibeam acoustic backscatter
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lucieer, V (Dr Vanessa Lucieer)
ID Code:100694
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-05-26
Last Modified:2015-05-26

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