Sidescan sonar image processing techniques

  • Cervenka P
  • Moustier C
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A four-step processing sequence is described to produce image
mosaics from the various segments of a sidescanned acoustic imaging
survey of a given seafloor area. Starting with data consisting for each
ping of acoustic backscatter levels versus horizontal range
across-track, median prefiltering is used first to reduce the influence
of outliers on subsequent linear processes. Artifacts that are clearly
unrelated to the backscattering properties of the seafloor are then
isolated on a ping by ping basis through a spectral analysis that relies
on a decomposition using Chebyshev polynomials to filter the low spatial
frequency components of the image. Contrast enhancement is then achieved
through an original implementation of the classical gray level histogram
equalization technique by balancing local versus global histogram
contributions. Pixels are mapped on a geographic grid taking due account
of the geometry of the measurement and of the spacing between pings to
minimize along-track smearing of features. Examples of results obtained
with these processing techniques are given for SeaMARC II data recorded
during a complete survey of Fieberling Guyot (32°.5 N, 128° W)

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  • P. Cervenka

  • C. De Moustier

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