NOAA QC Tools: Origin, Development, and Future

TitleNOAA QC Tools: Origin, Development, and Future
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
AuthorsWilson, MJ, Masetti, G, Calder, BR
Conference Name2016 Canadian Hydrographic Conference
Conference DatesMay 16 - 19
PublisherCanadian Hydrographic Association
Conference LocationHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Advancing multibeam technology allows us to map the seafloor better than ever before, and we have plenty of stunning bathymetry to show for it. Yet the ever-increasing data volume presents some challenges during both quality review and in its generalization to nautical chart scale. Specific challenges and inefficiencies in these processes are addressed with NOAA QC tools, specifically: 1) "flier finder," which scans gridded bathymetry and flags anomalous data "fliers" for easy identification and removal, 2) feature scans, to ensure proper attribution and accurate representation within gridded bathymetry, and 3) an automated method of comparing survey soundings to those charted, as a formal means of chart comparison, identification of dangers to navigation, and also in the evaluation of a prospective chart sounding selection.

This paper discusses the QC tools listed above, with regards to: 1) their organic development within NOAA, to alleviate redundant, manually intensive tasks better suited for automation, 2) their implementation into the Rapid Survey Assessment (RSA) process of the NOAA Hydrographic Surveys Division (HSD), 3) their joint development with the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping & Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC) through their integration within the HydrOffice research framework, and 4) future and ongoing improvements.

Proposed innovation includes flier identification through a multi-detector algorithm, a “smart” chart sounding selection, and a wide range of task-specific applications to facilitate all phases of ocean mapping.