Exploring Mechanisms to Resolve Position and Intensity Disparities to Create a Combined Sidescan and Multibeam Sonar Backscatter Image

Clint Marcus
Directed Research Project

M.S. in Earth Sciences/Ocean Mapping

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, 9:00am
RDML Rick Brennan Conference Room - Chase 210

The need for comprehensive seabed characterization has increased as fields such as offshore engineering and habitat management have expanded. Sidescan sonars and multibeam echosounders have generally been used as separate means to provide high-resolution imagery of the seabed, as there are a number of factors such as different grazing angles and high positioning uncertainty that prevent a cohesive product. By using the “true” position of a feature from a multibeam grid to reposition sidescan navigation data, the associated sidescan imagery positions are now recalculated with a reduced uncertainty. Once all sidescan navigation has been recalculated, the multibeam backscatter can be used to visually adjust the sidescan imagery to create a near homogenous mosaic of the seabed. By creating this product, one can now have a full coverage backscatter product with greater positional accuracy and a relatively homogeneous visual scale. The combination of these mosaics from sources typically used by NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey for bathymetric surveys, creates a new product can be utilized by customers outside of typical navigational charting communities.


Clint Marcus is a Physical Scientist at the NOAA Atlantic Hydrographic Branch in Norfolk, VA and is pursuing a master's degree in Earth Sciences: Ocean Mapping at UNH. Prior to working for NOAA, Clint served as a Sonar Technician (Submarines) in the US Navy for nine years. After his service, Clint attended Maine Maritime Academy where he received his B.S. in Marine Science in 2010. Clint started working for NOAA in 2007 as a summer intern and has sailed on seven NOAA ships. Most recently he served as a Hydrographic Senior Survey Technician on the NOAA Ship Fairweather for six years conducting surveys all the way from LA/Long Beach, CA to Barrow, AK.