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QPS Client Spotlight: URI Roman Lab

The Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) at the University of Rhode Island (URI) is home to 50 faculty and over 70 graduate students conducting research at the edge of science. The GSO campus in Narragansett, RI is also home to URI's Department of Ocean Engineering and the Ocean Exploration Trust.  At the intersection of these groups, Chris Roman's lab conducts interdisciplinary research on robotic ocean sensing from a wide variety of platforms.  These platforms include a coastal Lagrangian drifter, a novel wire-flying vehicle, and the Ocean Exploration Trust's Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Hercules.  One of these research topics is navigation processing for high-resolution microbathymetry.

Hercules survey over the Kula mud volcano

Hercules is equipped with a mapping sensor suite including a BlueView 1.35MHz multibeam sonar that is used to conduct surveys 3-10m above the seafloor at depths up to 4000m.  Navigation and sonar data are re-processed using a variety of custom algorithms.  The use of standard data formats allows research staff to use QPS tools for common tasks, such as area-based editing and gridding, while focusing software development efforts on novel algorithms.  Once processed, QPS's Fledermaus provides clear visualization of the resulting surveys. 

Knidos C capture with 1m grid lines

Fledermaus has also proven useful for visualizing quantities other than bathymetry.  Raster data can be rendered on top of the bathymetry to look for correlations.  For example, a measure of how useful a particular patch of seafloor is for navigation refinement is plotted on top of the bathymetry.  Fledermaus can also render simple measurements, like temperature, when combined with the ROV's navigation in a way that provides insight into the environment of a study area.  Using Fledermaus has enabled new insights into existing mapping technology and allowed engineering improvements that have benefited the science team.  

Interest metric over Kula

Temperature over Kick'em Jenny

Special thanks to Ian Vaughn, University of Rhode Island for this content.

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QPS Client Spotlight: URI Roman Lab



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