Keywords : sonarscope


The SonarScope software provides an innovative and high-performance environment for the analysis of data coming from multibeam echosounders and sidescan sonars. It has been developed by the Acoustics & Seismics department of Ifremer, originally for a scientific program in multisensor data acquisition and exploitation raising specific needs in sonar data management and processing.

The basic concept is a "toolbox", with which the sonar data, organized as a "multilayer" structure defined by its various attributes (bathymetry, image, angles, data from auxiliary sensors …) may be represented and processed using various techniques either classical (signal or image processing) or specific to sonar.

With SonarScope, one can achieve three main tasks :

  • Quality Control
  • Data Processing
  • Data Interpretation

These activities aren’t managed within separate sections of the application. Most of the time, they use the same sub-routines, but in different manner. SonarScope has been developed as a toolbox, grouped by type of operation to be accomplished: statistical, mathematical, geometric, cartographic, filtering, …

SonarScope is designed for visualizing and processing in a very versatile way the data (raw or already elaborated) at any point of a processing chain.

  • It is especially well adapted to joint analysis of superimposed data (multisensor, multifrequency…),
  • It should be considered first as a laboratory tool, aimed at R&D and data analysis rather than production,
  • it completes rather than replaces the today's current software suites, the formats of which it can adopt for writing and reading data files.

Developed in Matlab, SonarScope is available on Windows environment (XP, Vista, 7) . It is a complete standalone application and the Matlab program is thus not needed to run SonarScope.

Input data:
Bathymetry, Multibeam echosounder images, Sidescan sonar images, Subbottom profiler, Lidar bathymetry, ETOPO, remote sensing data

Formats and data conversion:
Kongsberg (.all), Reson (.s7k), GeoAcoustics (.rdf), Triton (.xtf).
ER-Mapper (.ers), CARAIBES®(.mbg, .imo.), GMT (.grd), IRAP, Surfer, C-Floor,
netcdf files (.nc), image files (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, geotiff, .png, etc..), text files (.txt, .asc, .xyz)

Available processing tools:
Multichannel management of data; Statistical and frequency analysis ;
Compensations : array directivity, bathymetry biases, backscatter; Arithmetic and differential operators; Data cleaning ;
Image processing : speckle filtering, textures analysis, segmentation; Mapping representation (DTM, mosaics, overlapping)