The Multibeam Advisory Committee (MAC): A Search for Solutions for Collecting Consistent High Quality Multibeam Data Across Multiple Ships, Systems, and Operators in the U.S. Academic Fleet.
|Title||The Multibeam Advisory Committee (MAC): A Search for Solutions for Collecting Consistent High Quality Multibeam Data Across Multiple Ships, Systems, and Operators in the U.S. Academic Fleet.|
|Publication Type||Conference Abstract|
|Authors||Johnson, P, Ferrini, VL, Jerram, K|
|Conference Name||2016 Fall AGU Meeting|
|Conference Location||San Francisco, CA|
|Conference Dates||December 12-16|
|Keywords||mac, multibeam advisory committy|
In 2015 the National Science Foundation funded the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, for the second time, to coordinate the effort of standardizing the quality of multibeam echosounder (MBES) data across the U.S. academic fleet. This effort supports 9 different ship operating institutions who manage a total of 12 multibeam-equipped ships carrying 6 different MBES systems, manufactured by two different companies. These MBES are designed to operate over a very wide range of depths and operational modes. The complexity of this endeavor led to the creation of the Multibeam Advisory Committee (MAC), a team of academic and industry experts whose mission is to support the needs of the U.S academic fleet’s multibeam echo sounders through all of the phases of the “life” of a MBES system and its data, from initial acceptance of the system, to recommendations on at-sea acquisition of data, to validation of already installed systems, and finally to the post-survey data evaluation.
The main activities of the MAC include 1.) standardizing both the Shipboard Acceptance Testing of all new systems and Quality Assurance Testing of already installed systems, 2.) working with the both the ship operators/technicians and the manufacturers of the multibeam systems to guarantee that each MBES is working at its peak performance level, 3.) developing tools that aid in the collection of data, assessment of the MBES hardware, and evaluation of the quality of the MBES data, 4.) creating “best practices” documentation concerning data acquisition and workflow, and 5.) providing a website, http://mac.unols.org, to host technical information, tools, reports, and a “help desk” for operators of the systems to ask questions concerning issues that they see with their systems.