Digitalization has revolutionized the world, and hydrographic survey techniques are no exception. While advances in mechanical design have enabled the survey of increasingly remote locations, electronics and digital processing techniques have dramatically increased resolution. Where once a few spot soundings were considered enough to make a chart, today’s survey vessels generate vast amounts of data to give unprecedented detail.
Detail is good, but data in these quantities needs careful management if it is not to become overwhelming. Modern sounders, such as Kongsberg’s EM range, can produce data at a rate of more than 1 gigabyte (GB) per minute – too much to economically transmit ashore in real time, and impractical to store locally in raw form. Fortunately, real-time processing can greatly reduce the burden for transmission or storage.