, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 17-24
Date: 17 Nov 2012

The filtering and compressing of outer beams to multibeam bathymetric data

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Some errors and noises are often present in multibeam swath bathymetric data. Echo detection error (EDE) is one of the main errors. It causes the depth error to become bigger in outer beams and looks like sound refraction. But depth errors due to EDEs have a trumpet-shaped appearance, instead of a curved appearance that is caused by the sound refraction errors. EDEs, including systematic acoustic signal detection errors and internal noises, cannot be removed during the correction of sound refraction. It causes depth inconsistencies between adjacent swaths and degrades precision of outer beams. Sometimes, the bathymetric errors caused by EDEs do not even meet the requirements of IHO (International Hydrographic Organization). Therefore, a post-processing method is presented to minimize the EDEs by filtering outliers and compressing outer beams of multibeam bathymetric data. The outliers caused by internal noises are removed by an automatic filter algorithm first. Then the outer beams are compressed to reduce systematic acoustic signal detection errors according to their depths, the calculated depth line and standard deviations (SDs). The automatic filter process is important for calculating the depth line. The selection of inner beams to calculate the average SD of beam depths is crucial to achieving compressing goals. The quality of final bathymetric data in outer beams can be improved by these steps. The method is verified by a field test.