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An Approach to Robust Map Generation from Multibeam Bathymetric Data

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[Technical Report, Research Report]

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During the last twenty years, many multibeam bathymetric sonars have been produced. The instrumentation is usually accompanied by a system able to produce a seafloor map from the sonar data. There are also several public domain systems, which can be used to obtain a map from the data. All these systems produce a gridded map that must be filtered in order to reproduce the original seafloor surface because of noise on the bathymetric data. Both the gridding and the filtering algorithms introduce a source of error that is not easily controlled. Moreover, gridded maps may use significant storage space for a small amount of information. Finally, at present no systematic solution with realistic run-time requirements has been given to the problem of identification and elimination of bad data outliers. We present here an algorithm able to fit bathymetric data and to automatically deal with outliers. The most important characteristics of the algorithm are production of a triangulated map of uniform accuracy irrespective of seafloor features a map resolution which depends on the local data noise amplitude automatic elimination of outliers and low computing cost even on large datafiles.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Acoustic Detection and Detectors

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]