Theme: Hardware Technologies
Synthetic Aperture Sonar as a tool for fine-scale geological characterization

WP 4.1: Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) generates both high-resolution acoustic images (<5 cm resolution) and co-registered bathymetric maps (~25 cm resolution). The SAS sensor is either deployed as a towed instrument or mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle. So far, SAS surveys have been used largely for military (i.e. target detection) and energy (e.g., seabed engineered infrastructure) related applications, with few examples for general geological/habitat mapping.

Under this work package, we will work closely with Kraken Robotics to develop and evaluate synthetic aperture sonar as an effective tool for ocean floor mapping, habitat classification and environmental monitoring.  The aims of this WP are to evaluate the utility and limitations of SAS for seafloor characterization and develop survey strategies and data processing workflow to optimize survey coverage area and resolution.

The aims of this WP are to:

  1. Collect SAS data sets using the Kraken Robotics InSAS sensors in a range of different seafloor environments, substrate types and seafloor relief;

  2. Develop data processing workflows to efficiently process raw SAS data and produce georeferenced acoustic images and bathymetric maps;

  3. Characterize and match the SAS data products to specific substrate types and habitats through visual ground-truthing.

  4. Develop strategies to optimize survey parameters for maximum resolution and coverage area;

  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of SAS surveys for detailed and repeatable characterization of the seafloor.

WP4.1 Researchers
WP4.1 Postdocs & Students
WP4.1 Partners