Chesapeake Times
Technical Review, Issue 8
January 2022
Letter from the General Manager

Welcome to 2022, a year full of new resolutions. One we may all have on our list this year - fewer Zoom meetings and a return to meeting in person. We’ll see how that goes. I’m getting way too familiar running Zoom and along the way have learned the proper etiquette when on a call. (don’t eat with the video on, don’t have a virtual background of a beach).

With or without Zoom, work goes on here at Chesapeake. We had a successful workshop last month, held at the College of Charleston. We added an extra day to go over the basics, as we had many new users attend the workshop. With the student Poster Session, boat demos and time with our partners, and the evening social, everyone seemed to have a good time. In a few months, we’ll start to look for a place for December for next year’s event. We also plan to hold a few regional classes this year, to minimize some of the travel for our clients. Michigan, Texas, and Vancouver are the likely venues.

In the conference final session, I gave a presentation about our plans for 2022. The team has already started on the items below, and will keep you informed of our progress throughout the year:

Short term focused ideas
  • Geodesy revamp, to replace CSMap/GM removed in favor of with Proj/related
  • CSF file update. (Eliminate standalone, column oriented) – user benefit:
  • SPEED for redrawing, processing and more.
GUI updates / redesign
  • Single Import menu
  • Contact making on main map view
  • Acquisition and Processing Menu to include View option (reduce button clicks)
  • Real Time systems improvements – servers & displays for better QC in real time
General Maintenance
  • Additional sonar servers for new sonar systems
  • Update EGN for improved gain control
  • Update Magnetometer processing - phase 2
  • Items from user backlog of requests
  • Review and eliminate unneeded processing loops – faster drawing
Gain efficiency through Automation, restructure
  • Automatic Target Identification for sidescan
  • Automation – file import for automated sub bottom and bathymetry processing
  • Automation – data processing – hands off approach
  • Reduce I/O operations – create efficiency in the CLOUD
  • Server + SonarWiz client – allow multiple people working on a single project

Note the two main themes are faster drawing and more automation; as we continue with larger data sets, these features become a necessity.

One other area we continue to focus on is our partnership with other manufacturers. This goes a long way with our clients and makes any integration easier, making one less concern when out to sea collecting data. Early in 2022, we are planning to add our output to Terradepth’s Absolute Ocean platform, a cloud-based portal with interactive visualization capabilities.

This month, we are getting through the final testing of SonarWiz 7.9. In this newsletter, you will find a few articles featuring the changes and updates to the program. I have a write up on the validation of our multibeam server. This version will be ready by the end of the month and will be available for download from our website.

Stay safe and healthy in 2022

- Harold Orlinsky, General Manager
New Features and Technical Notes

SonarWiz Development: V7.09.00 and Beyond ...... Christopher Favreau, CTO
Plan View Contact Capture ..................................... Jonathan Fleetwood, Engineer
Processing HUGIN HISAS data in SonarWiz .......... David Finlayson, Chief Scientist
Validation of SonarWiz Multibeam Server ............... Harold Orlinsky, General Manager
Sub-bottom & Bathymetry: Contacts ....................... Patrick Zynda, Support Engineer
SonarWiz Quick Start Program ............................... Stephen & Ashley, Sales/Marketing
SonarWiz Development: V7.09.00 and Beyond
Some of you may have noticed that we have gone a while without a new SonarWiz release. SonarWiz V7.08.01 was released in September. Development on SonarWiz V7.09.00 was started in the spring of 2021. During this time the CTI engineering department has put a lot of work into SonarWiz V7.09.00. A lot of this work has been in preparing SonarWiz for localization. Localization basically means translating the application’s user interface into a different language. We are handling this in 3 steps:

  1. Change most of the places we handle words and sentences, known as strings, to handle more characters.
  2. Gather all of these strings into one place so that we can provide different versions for each new language we are supporting.
  3. Translate each of these different versions from English to the desired language.

Step 1 took a majority of the development time. It had to be done in not only SonarWiz, but the libraries that SonarWiz uses and in our real time servers and utility programs. There are a lot of strings in SonarWiz! The release of SonarWiz V7.09.00 will mark the completion of Step 2. We will be adding translations in future versions of SonarWiz V7.09.

For the most part SonarWiz V7.09.00 will look the same as previous versions. SonarWiz user’s will be able to see the place where they will be able to change the native language of the user interface (shown below).
Besides localization, SonarWiz V7.09.00 features many bug fixes and some new features and customer requests. Most notably we have added channel 5 and 6 coloring for Side Scan Sonar and the ability to composite all 3 Side Scan Sonar frequency layers together. This feature allows for much better looking Side Scan Sonar data sets with Gap Filler data.   
We also added Depth Below Seafloor to the SBP contact properties, and added support for Kongsberg Navlab bin files.

Looking beyond SonarWiz V7.09.00 CTI will be working to strike a balance between keeping SonarWiz reliable and easy to use while adding new features.  

Harold went over some specifics in the Letter from the General Manager in this issue of CTI Times. In addition to those specific items we will be concentrating our efforts on these areas:

  • Reducing CTI support load by addressing our most common issues (Geodesy, Licensing Improvements, etc.)
  • Improving the User Interface so SonarWiz is faster to learn and easier to use.
  • Speeding up SSS and SBP processing.
  • Improving the Real Time Data Collection experience.
  • Rewriting parts of SonarWiz to remove old code and make maintenance easier and new ideas easier to implement.
  • Improving our software testing methods.

I am particularly excited about improving the User Interface, rewriting parts of SonarWiz, and improving our software testing methods. Those items often take a back seat to the features we implement when it comes to telling our users what we are working on, however they can contribute greatly to the overall user experience.
- Christopher Favreau, CTO
Plan View Contact Capture

In the past, selecting the "Capture Contact" button on the SonarWiz map toolbar, then clicking on a contact on the plan view, would always bring up the waterfall digitizer for the file selected and scroll to the area clicked on, for subsequent contact picking. There were some reasons for this behavior, as the digitizer often allowed a significantly better view of the target area, and after-the-fact contact edit options were limited. With subsequent plan view drawing and contact editing improvements, though, this restriction has become mostly unnecessary, so people have been asking for it to be dropped.

In the upcoming SonarWiz 7.09, there's a new option available to control this behavior. To see it, select the Options entry in the quick access toolbar near the top left of the SonarWiz main screen, then select the Contact Options page:
Note the new "Open digitizer when contact is digitized on plan view" entry near the bottom right. By default, this will be checked, to mimic the prior behavior of always opening the digitizer. Unchecked, though, will allow for quick contact picking directly on the plan view.

The "Open contact editor.." option just below will function as before, regardless of whether the digitizer is shown.
Contacts picked this way will still be associated with a sidescan, bathymetry, or backscatter line, just as contacts picked from a waterfall. For the initial implementation, contacts are picked against the top file in the Z-order; future improvements may allow for file selection or a hotkey to enable picking on overlapped files.
- Jonathan Fleetwood, Engineer
Processing HUGIN HISAS Data in SonarWiz
New in SonarWiz 7.09, we are introducing binary support for Kongsberg NavLab BIN files to SonarWiz. Kongsberg uses NavLab post-processing software to calculate optimal position estimates for the HUGIN family of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). NavLab computes the orientation and velocity of the AUV, based on available sensors, such as GPS/acoustic positioning, doppler velocity and inertial measurement records. Navigation processed with NavLab is always more accurate than a real time navigation system with comparable sensors.

Because NavLab processing occurs after the mission is completed, raw sonar data collected during the mission needs to be adjusted with the refined trajectories before the data is finalized. In SonarWiz, this navigation adjustment can happen at two different stages of processing:

  1. Before the data is loaded into SonarWiz. The utility program NavInjectorPro can directly update navigation in XTF, SEG-Y, JSF, and SDF files. Updating the navigation in this way is vendor-neutral and useful for long term data archiving. You can be sure that the binary files and the SonarWiz project are using exactly the same navigation source.
  2. After the data is imported into SonarWiz. If the raw data has approximate navigation, the data can be loaded into SonarWiz and then updated at a later point. This workflow allows processors to start target identification before the navigation has been finalized.


NavInjectorPro (NIP) is a stand-alone utility program distributed with SonarWiz whose purpose is to batch-inject or batch-replace time series data in sonar files. The most common fields to replace are latitude and longitude, but NIP can be used to inject or replace any time-based variable in the file, including depth, altitude, heading, orientation, KP, event numbers and more.

NIP can directly read and write XTF, SEG-Y, JSF, and SDF formats. NIP can also modify any sidescan, sub-bottom or bathymetric file that can be loaded into SonarWiz, providing indirect support for more than 40 different sonar formats.

In addition to the new support for NavLab binary files, NIP supports Applanix SBET and provides a robust template system for importing almost any navigation file that can be formatted in tabular format.

A HUGIN example with a file type supported by NavInjectorPro

The HUGIN AUV data we have for example, was outfitted with a HISAS synthetic aperture sonar for imagery and an EM2040 for bathymetry. The HISAS data was provided in XTF format which NIP can modify directly. 
To replace the navigation in the HISAS XTF files:

  1. Open NavInjectorPro and select XTF in the Process Files of Type… section.
  2. Select the Kongsberg NavLab bin Files from the Navigation File Template drop down.
  3. Then specify the source directory with the XTF files to modify, and the destination directory for where you want the modified XTF files to go (your original files are not modified)
  4. Browse for the NavLab BIN file with the update navigation file.
  5. Click the Start… button. SonarWiz will present you with options to set how the new navigation will be interpolated onto the original pings. The default options are usually good, but you have control over the details
  6. Make any necessary adjustments and click OK
Figure 1 - NavInjectorPro shown with updated NavLab in files template option
Figure 2 - Navigation settings options
NavInjectorPro will batch process all of the HISAS files in the source directory and create new XTF files with the updated navigation in the destination folder. If the sonar files and the replacement navigation file do not overlap, those files will be handled according to your selections. A comprehensive log is created to review the operation.

If you load both the original and the adjusted XTF files into SonarWiz, you can see the shift in the imagery between the two files.
Figure 3 - Result of importing both HISAS XTF files before and after navigation adjustment by NavInjectorPro
A HUGIN example adjusted after loading the data into SonarWiz

HUGIN EM2040 bathymetry data is stored in ALL format. The ALL format is not directly supported by NavInjectorPro and so these data need to be adjusted after the bathymetry files have been loaded into SonarWiz. Once the data is imported into the SonarWiz Project, NIP has an option to adjust SonarWiz Bathymetry in place. This workflow is very similar to the first example described above.

Another option, for bathymetry data, is to load the NavLab files into SonarWiz as an External Navigation file and then apply the updated navigation during the merge process.

To load NavLab files as an external navigation file:
Figure 4 - The Add/Import External Navigation Files… command in the Project Explorer
  1. Import the ALL files into a SonarWiz Bathymetry project
  2. In the Project Explorer, Right-Click External Navigation branch and select Add/Import External Navigation Files...
  3. In the File Open dialog that opens, select the Kongsberg NavLab template in the File Template drop-down and load the bin file.
  4. When you merge the bathymetry, change the Position Source and Attitude Source from Internal to External
Figure 5 - Selecting the new Kongsberg Navlab template for importing External Navigation files
Figure 6 - The merge dialog where you can choose Internal or External navigation to use during the merge process.
Your bathymetry files will be processed using the Navlab navigation and attitude rather than the original unprocessed navigation stored in the ALL files. You can easily switch back to the original navigation by re-merging the data using the Internal options.


The ability to adjust navigation after sonar data has been collected is useful for AUV operations which will normally require re-processing of the raw navigation after the mission is completed. For file formats with direct support in NavInjectorPro, such as the HISAS XTF formatted files, NIP can directly create updated binary files in native format. For formats that NIP does not directly support, but that can be imported into SonarWiz - such as the ALL format used by the EM2040 - you can import the files first and then modify the navigation in-situ in the SonarWiz project.
- David Finlayson, Chief Scientist
Validation of SonarWiz Multibeam Server
When we have a new release here at Chesapeake, the software goes through several different types of tests. Whether through automated (Ranorex) or manual testing, we look to ensure the update works as expected. This all works well, until we need to test our real time servers. Simulators and playback only work up to a point, and it isn’t until we find ourselves on a boat with a real system that can we validate the driver and the updates to the program.
Recently, I spent two days with Mike and Nick at Seahorse Geomatics in Portland OR, to run through our multibeam collection using their NORBIT system. I set out a few goals to validate the driver, from “does it work” to “can I break it with
a lot of data”. One test was to have the multibeam pinging at 50Hz with 1024 beams at full swath, with all ancillary data and collection of Velodyne LiDAR data too. The driver and software performed as expected, and with 44GB of data collected, the next test was to validate the data itself.
Setting up the multibeam sonar
To ensure our collection was correct, we set up a test with 3 systems logging simultaneously, all listening in to the Norbit GUI: SonarWiz, Norbit DCT and Qinsy QPS. This was done on a single computer with a solid state hard drive. I imagine any spinning disk would have trouble keeping up with the amount of data being logged.
All three logging systems in the window display
Our survey plan included two calibrations – a bore sight test for the LiDAR and a Patch Test for the multibeam, along with a Performance Test of the system. We took note of the high current in the Columbia River, and did the test relatively quickly, to reduce any influence from the dynamic movement of the sand waves. Reciprocal lines had less than 45 second between passes.

The survey area was on the Columbia River, just north of the Portland Airport:
The far left (Nortwest section) was the bore test around a pile. The middle section was used for the patch and performance test. The eastern section was a half dozen lines of survey work for line-to-line overlap performance.
Our survey plan included two calibrations – a bore sight test for the LiDAR and a Patch Test for the multibeam, along with a Performance Test of the system. We took note of the high current in the Columbia River, and did the test relatively quickly, to reduce any influence from the dynamic movement of the sand waves. Reciprocal lines had less than 45 second between passes.

The survey area was on the Columbia River, just north of the Portland Airport:
Data collected in SonarWiz were the CDF files, XTF files and S7K files. The S7K file option in the server provided a bit of redundancy for the data collection, and could easily be compared to the files collected with the other software.

Data editing was done in the Swath Editor (single line) and Area Based Editor (multiple lines) to flag any bad soundings.
Editing in the Swath Editor, single line
Editing in the Area Editor with 5 lines
Once cleaned, we performed a Beam Performance Test on the data. Subtle depth issues that were not easily seen in the color image could be computed by this test.

Area used for Patch and Performance Tests. Main scheme lines were run east-west, with the crossing (check) line in the north-south direction.
Beam performance test results showed the entire system would pass Special Order Performance for the full swath. It is interesting to note that less than 1000 points – out of almost 300,000 - would fail to meet the criteria, or less than 0.3% of all data.
The results computed by SonarWiz collection and processing was compared to the data collected and processed in the other software. Overall, the agreement matched well, with differences less than a few centimeters. This comparison – an independent check on the data - proved the system data collection through data processing was correct, and the updated server and software passed the validation test.

The Multibeam Server will be part of the next release, SonarWiz 7.9.
- Harold Orlinsky, General Manager
Sub-bottom and Bathymetry: Contacts aren’t just for Sidescan!
One of the most powerful tools in the sidescan post processing arsenal of SonarWiz is the contact, an item which location and characteristics can be captured and saved. After these contacts are created on sidescan files they can be edited, measured, classified, and final reports can be built for your customer in a variety of formats. But did you know that users processing multibeam and sub-bottom data can also utilize these features?

For sub-bottom data, contacts can be placed in the digitizing view similarly to drawing reflectors. In a situation where the user doesn’t need to draw a complete horizon (for example identifying a buried pipe or boulder) a contact can be placed.
The created contact will contain all the standard meta data that its sidescan version would as well as offer the option to mensurate (except for shadow). In the Info at cursor section of the newly created contact will contain a new field labeled DBS (depth below seafloor) which will use the range to target field subtracted by the altitude to give the end user.

When processing bathymetry files, most users aren’t aware that you can capture areas of your 3D point cloud as contacts in the digitizing view! 
These special bathymetry contacts have their own report format that allows users to create 3D PDFs if your client does not have access to a 3D viewer. Just make sure to select “Adobe 3D PDF” in the Report Type down menu of the Contact Report Generator.
Each of these unique contact options contains the same properties of a sidescan contact, which allow users to recapture the images when edits or signal processing are applied, or when re-computing the position if navigation is adjusted.

To see one of these bathymetry contacts in a 3D viewer and many more great tips and tricks when using SonarWiz, check out our YouTube channel.
- Patrick Zynda, Support Engineer
New Training Options
Getting Started with SonarWiz  
If you are new to SonarWiz and purchase at least one new SonarWiz  license, we want to make you and your team comfortable using it. New for 2022, we offer a complimentary 2-hour Zoom session to get you started. The session covers installing and licensing SonarWiz and a brief tutorial on using SonarWiz to process a sample data set.

During the class, we answer as many SonarWiz questions as time allows. Up to 5 people can participate in this Zoom session, to be held during our normal business hours, 9:00am - 8:00pm EST. Existing customers who want to onboard new users can also schedule a session for a cost of $250. Please call +650-967-2045 or email for details. 
Webinars & Recordings
Chesapeake has long offered custom onsite training as well as an annual workshop. In 2020 we added mid year training and sessions in partnership with EdgeTech and our UK reseller. More recently we have been forced by COVID and travel restrictions to offer additional options. We hosted a three day Webinar in December 2020 instead of our traditional in person event.

We were pleased - and a bit overwhelmed - at the response since we had over 300% more attendees than ever before. It went so well that we offered another training Webinar in June 2021. We now make the recordings of the entire three days of instruction available for purchase. Individuals can access the 24 hours of audio and video recording, training materials, SonarWiz evaluation license and User Guides for $250.00. 

Full Day & Half Day Zooms
In 2021 we started providing full day and half day custom training by Zoom since travel was difficult or impossible. Onsite sessions are typically two or three full day events for up to 8 trainees. Remote Zoom sessions are for up to 12 attendees and are customized to the needs of each company. Plenty of time is allowed for questions and answers during and after the session(s).

Both Chesapeake and users found the half day sessions to be particularly helpful as they allow trainees to carry on with their regular business day. It can be more productive and less disruptive than traveling to meet in person or spending all day in a class. Another benefit to both is that Chesapeake records the sessions and can make them available afterwards for further study and review. Please contact Sales for more information, +650-967-2045 or
- Stephen D'Andrea & Ashley Chan, Sales and Marketing
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