Results from the First Phase of the Seafloor Backscatter Processing Software Inter-Comparison Project

Type Article
Date 2019-12
Language English
Author(s) Malik Mashkoor1, 2, Schimel Alexandre C. G.3, Masetti Giuseppe2, Roche Marc4, Le Deunf Julian5, Dolan Margaret F.J.6, Beaudoin Jonathan7, Augustin Jean-Marie8, Hamilton Travis9, Parnum Iain10
Affiliation(s) 1 : NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
2 : Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
3 : National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Greta Point, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
4 : Federal Public Service Economy of Belgium (FPSE), 1210 Brussels, Belgium
5 : Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (SHOM), 29200 Brest, France
6 : Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway
7 : QPS B.V. Fredericton, Fredericton, NB E3B 1P9, Canada
8 : Service Acoustique Sous-marine et Traitement de l’Information, IFREMER, 29280 Plouzane, France
9 : Teledyne CARIS, Fredericton, NB E3B 2L4, Canada
10 : Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University, Perth 2605, Australia
Source Geosciences (2076-3263) (MDPI AG), 2019-12 , Vol. 9 , N. 12 , P. 516 (23p.)
DOI 10.3390/geosciences9120516
WOS© Times Cited 5
Note This article belongs to the Section Geophysics
Keyword(s) Acoustic backscatter processing, Multibeam Echo Sounders, seafloor mapping

Seafloor backscatter mosaics are now routinely produced from multibeam echosounder data and used in a wide range of marine applications. However, large differences (>5 dB) can often be observed between the mosaics produced by different software packages processing the same dataset. Without transparency of the processing pipeline and the lack of consistency between software packages raises concerns about the validity of the final results. To recognize the source(s) of inconsistency between software, it is necessary to understand at which stage(s) of the data processing chain the differences become substantial. To this end, willing commercial and academic software developers were invited to generate intermediate processed backscatter results from a common dataset, for cross-comparison. The first phase of the study requested intermediate processed results consisting of two stages of the processing sequence: the one-value-per-beam level obtained after reading the raw data and the level obtained after radiometric corrections but before compensation of the angular dependence. Both of these intermediate results showed large differences between software solutions. This study explores the possible reasons for these differences and highlights the need for collaborative efforts between software developers and their users to improve the consistency and transparency of the backscatter data processing sequence

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Malik Mashkoor, Schimel Alexandre C. G., Masetti Giuseppe, Roche Marc, Le Deunf Julian, Dolan Margaret F.J., Beaudoin Jonathan, Augustin Jean-Marie, Hamilton Travis, Parnum Iain (2019). Results from the First Phase of the Seafloor Backscatter Processing Software Inter-Comparison Project. Geosciences, 9(12), 516 (23p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :