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BSWG releases Guidelines and Recommendations

The Backscatter Working Group (BSWG) is happy to announce the completion of its work and the publication of the document, Backscatter measurements by seafloor-mapping sonars. Guidelines and Recommendations. This document compiles the efforts of over twenty authors and contributors from seventeen organizations spanning eight countries, representing the research, government, and commercial sectors. 

The founding ideas of the BSWG and this document originated from discussions at the 2013 workshop at the GeoHab annual meeting in Rome on "Multibeam Backscatter – State of the Technology, Tools & Techniques", organized by QPS. It is during this workshop, attended by about 100 participants, that the need for a compendium on backscatter acquisition, processing and interpretation came up. The BSWG was created in the wake of the workshop and a first draft of the guidelines and recommendations was presented one year later at the 2014 GeoHab meeting in Lorne, Victoria, Australia. The final document was released this week at the 2015 GeoHab conference in Salvador, Brazil.

The document presents six chapters covering backscatter fundamentals, user needs and expectations, the process of estimation of seafloor reflectivity by sonars, best practices for acquisition, and post-processing methods, and a final chapter with discussion and synthesis. As stated by the editors, Xavier Lurton of IFREMER and Geoffroy Lamarche of NIWA:

Overall this large document is made to help all stakeholders, manufacturers, scientists, operators and decision makers to make better use of the backscatter data. It is the product of a group of such stakeholders that genuinely and sincerely believe that the backscatter data is an underused element in the quest to discover and understand the seafloor and its dynamics. Our aim in editing this document is that it will instigate more research, motivate manufacturers and convince skeptics that there is much potential in using seafloor backscatter reflectivity in marine activities.

The document can be downloaded from the Geohab publications page:

http://geohab.org/publications/

We encourage its use and distribution, and are happy to receive comments through 30 June 2015. Comments can be addressed to the editors:

Xavier Lurton: Xavier.Lurton@ifremer.fr

Geoffroy Lamarche: Geoffroy.Lamarche@niwa.co.nz

 

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