nD technology was used by hydraulic and hydrological engineers to reduce reliance on skilled technicians to improve data collection. Side Scan Sonar is a category of sonar systems used to efficiently create an image of large areas of the seafloor. This type of sonar produces gray-scale images corresponding to the acoustic reflectance of objects. It is typically difficult to recognize and classify objects based on a single feature, but the spatial order of the gray level transitions gives “texture” characteristics to the image. Automating the collection and interpretation of seafloor images reduces the specialty training requirements and human risk as well as streamlines the analysis.
Solution: In order to identify seabed materials like clay/mud, sand, eelgrass and gravel without the need for skilled technicians, nD classification and feature extraction models were created. This reduced the risk, streamlined the process and allowed for automatic tracking of changes in the seabed over time as new scans became available.