Advances in Processing and Collecting Multibeam Echosounder Data for Seabed Habitat Mapping
Douglas Lockhart, Robert J. Pawlowski, and Edward J. Saade
Abstract. Backscatter data from Reson multibeam echo sounders (MBES) can be captured as a single time series for each beam footprint. Referred to as snippets, this data has a few advantages over MBES pseudo sidescan and, in some cases, true sidescan data. Snippets can be precisely coregistered to the bathymetric surface using the fact that the snippet and sounding are from the same place. This process implicitly corrects the snippet position for water column refraction. The resulting mosaic has improved signal to noise qualities as a result of precise positioning. Other advantages include increased resolution, automated mosaic assembly and potential for automated image classification. Data products generated from snippet processing are useful for habitat classification.