Chesapeake Times
Technical Review, Issue 16
January 2024
Letter from the General Manager – Harold Orlinsky
During the past year, Chesapeake had 6 releases and almost 400 updates to the program. We added new features, fixed bugs along the way, and planned out the next generation of SonarWiz. We handled hundreds of support calls. We worked with new and existing clients, getting them new software, and updating their EMAs.
Time to sit back and take a long vacation. (perhaps to an island in the Caribbean).

Unfortunately, this isn’t going to happen, as maintaining the status quo is something we don’t want to do.

Next up is SonarWiz 8.0, with a release date in March. Over the next 8 weeks the whole team is focused to get it done on time.

Added to the program is a sidescan target recognition, sub bottom multiples suppression, a new import routine and a new way to view the files in our project explorer. We even updated the Windows scheme, giving the program an updated and fresh look. We’ll keep everyone posted on the release and have plans for a February webinar to highlight these changes.

Abraham Lincoln said “The most reliably way to predict the future is to create it” – which is what we are going to do. We have no boundaries and are going to look for an extra edge to give our clients something to make their work easier. We have ideas from clients which keep us busy. At the annual winter training event, I placed an empty box at the front of the room and asked for their ideas. After three days, I had a filled box.

A few items planned for the year has us updating Magnetometer (phase 3), we’ll try our hand at a QC window for dredging (DredgeWiz for cutter suction dredges), a headless SonarWiz (sounds scary, but it isn’t really), contact updates and new database and a network DFL. One main topic from our clients is to make the program faster – which is something we will show off in the March release and continue throughout the year with improvements. We’ll work more in the CLOUD with a distributed processing for SonarWiz projects as something we want to provide to clients.

Our travel calendar is starting to get filled, with conferences and regional meetings. We’ll see you around 2024.

Wishing everyone a successful year.
New Features and Technical Notes

Bigger Needs Faster and Better .............................. Christopher Favreau, CTO
Performance Improvements, New Project Explorer.. Jonathan Fleetwood, Engineer
New Color Options in SonarWiz 8 ............................ David Finlayson, Chief Scientist
Finding the Difference .............................................. Harold Orlinsky, General Manager
New resources for support in 2024 .......................... Patrick Zynda, Support Manager
Upcoming Webinars and Events...............................Ashley Chan, Sales and Marketing
Bigger Needs Faster and Better
As we move into the future it is clear that the underwater survey industry is quickly moving towards acquiring much larger amounts of data each and every year. Earlier this year one of our clients reported on social media that they are building a 480 TB (that’s Terra Bytes = 1,000 Gigabytes) file server for up and coming survey projects. SonarWiz will have to grow to support larger projects. Not only will SonarWiz have to deal with the large amount of data, it will also have to do so in a fast responsive manner. Advancements in computers mitigate some of this by processing and accessing data quicker. However, this only gets you so far. Sometimes technological advancements in computers require the software to be rethought in order to take full advantage of the advancements.
Performance Improvements, New Project Explorer
SonarWiz 8, scheduled for release early in March, will come with some nice performance and functionality enhancements around the digitizer windows, contacts, and project management.

For a while now, opening the bottom tracker/digitizer window has been significantly slower than it needs to be. We've sped the loading process up by about an order of magnitude, so opening the window and switching between files is much quicker. This is especially true with large files having many pings, such as SAS data. Additionally, scrolling speed is improved somewhat, making it less sluggish to move around within a file.
New Color Options in SonarWiz 8.0
In the early days of SonarWiz, side scan backscatter was converted to 8-bit pixel values on import. The actual intensity values were lost and only an 8-bit color map of the data remained. As sonar systems and sonar users become more sophisticated, SonarWiz switched to importing raw intensity values and today there is a direct mapping between intensity values and colors.
In most respects, the modern coloring system is for the better. Along the way, we jettisoned the Color and Contrast controls of older versions of SonarWiz (See Figure 1) because the values displayed in modern SonarWiz are not image pixels (per say) but actual intensity values.

Figure 1: Shown are the SonarWiz 5 Color and Contrast controls (2009). Palette compression, contrast, hue, saturation and brightness settings are no longer available in modern versions of SonarWiz.
Finding the Difference
A few tools in SonarWiz - both old and new, will provide the user with a simple way for analyzing change differences, both visually and in numerical form. Whether you want to monitor the difference in a pre and post dredge survey, monitor environment change over a sand bar or calculate the needed material to fill in the void, these functions can help. The ability to both visualizes and calculate the volume difference is needed.
As an example, let’s take a small survey area. This contained about 15 lines. Importing the data and cleaning up the flyers would produce an image like this. Nothing too exciting, but zoom in enough, we’ll see the actual sounding points for the survey.  On the big picture, the single point really doesn’t do much.
What resources would you like to see for support in 2024?
Here at CTI we pride ourselves on our top of the industry customer support, our team not only is willing and able to assist with your SonarWiz projects but we have a wide array of industry knowledge that can assist when the inevitable speed bumps appear in your survey.

With that goal in mind over the past 5 years we have worked diligently to update our resources and documentation to further give access to our knowledge base to our users. This started with a complete rewrite to our standard user guide for the software which then led to a completely new support desk where you can reach out for customer support and the addition of our resource library with dozens of articles with a wide range of topics.
See SonarWiz 8 at Upcoming Events
SonarWiz 8 Webinar
February 28 - via zoom
Oceanology International 2024
March 12-14 - London, UK
Visit us at Booth D10
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