SonarTRX sidescan sonar software makes it easy to view, extract bathymetric raw-data, and generate map-images (geo-referenced images) of the seabed from sidescan sonar recordings. SonarTRX products can be part of a very affordable tool-kit for exploring & mapping the seabed from your kayak, jet ski or small boat.
Example use includes:
- General shallow-water sidescan surveys
- Mapping of fishing areas
- Locating interesting scuba dive-sites
- Locating shallow-water marine debris for later cleanup
- Archaeology: Mapping of underwater archaeological sites
- Treasure hunting (ship wrecks, sunken boats,...)
- Marine habitat mapping, underwater ecology
- Search and rescue
- Costal Engineering surveys
- Pipeline and cable landing surveys
- Port and harbor security
SonarTRX supports recordings from the most affordable sidescan sonars available, including fishfinder-style products such as Humminbird sonars with Side Imaging and Lowrance StructureScan. SonarTRX also supports generic XTF files from sidescan towfish, StarFish XTF and vendor-specific recordings from SportScan & YellowFin towfish (by Imagenex) and DeepEye 340 towfish (by DeepView.)
The screen-capture of the SonarTRX viewer (above) and the mosaic image below is from an area with coral reef patches and sand channels with sand waves. The above picture shows a very 'noisy' environment above the reef as compared to the sand channels. It was recorded from a kayak using hardware & software costing < ~ $2,500 (U.S). (Note: Even lower cost sonars are available, making it possible to do sidescan surveys for a litte more than $1,000, including hardware & software.) The slant range corrected, geo-referenced image below is generated by SonarTRX from a recording made from a kayak, using a Humminbird 998c-SI. It shows sand channels with wave ripples between patches of coral reef:
Geo-referenced images created by SonarTRX can be viewed and annotated with Google Earth using KML, or they can be imported to other mapping and GIS programs for further processing. The use of KML files to reference the images, allows for low cost sharing of sidescan image-tiles by simply distributing the kml files and uploading the associated images to any web-server. SonarTRX images can be imported to ESRI products, Manifold GIS, Global Mapper, QGIS and other GIS systems.
In summary, with SonarTRX, you can:
- Import and process sidescan sonar recordings from affordable fishfinders or high-end sidescan sonars
- View data from each sonar channel, define targets, define named 'clips' of data (time-interval, containing interesting data)
- Generate geo-referenced image-tiles, track lines, XYZ data, coverage area polygons and target placemarks
- Merge image-tiles into larger geo-referenced 'master-images'
- Explore and annotate sonar images on a map with free tools such as Google Earth
- Export sonar coverage areas and annotations back to the sonar via GPX files
- Produce maps by loading SonarTRX output images into Global Mapper, ESRI, Manifold GIS or other mapping software
With the optional PlusPack, you can:
- Load alternate navigation data from RTK-GPS
- Load precise RTK-GPS elevations
- Load data from sidescan sonar altimeters
- Export XYZ data to projected coordinate systems at various time-intervals for bathymetric processing.
- Export clips (time-interals) of raw sonar data to csv file for further analysis.