Advancements in Seafloor Modeling: Efficiency Through Variable Resolution Modeling and Autonomous Mapping

Burns Foster
Product Manager


Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, 3:00pm
Chase 130

A continuing challenge in modelling the seafloor is determining an appropriate resolution at which to model: a trade-off typically must be made between the density of the source data and the required end-product. Often this results in managing multiple models at different resolutions, over different regions of varying density, introducing complexity at the transition areas from one model to the next and significant overhead in splitting and re-merging these regions as required. Variable Resolution technology allows a single model to split a given dataset into sub-regions of varying sizes, with each sub-region given a modelling resolution appropriate for the source data density or other modelling criteria. This approach is a hybrid one, leveraging the computational efficiency of regularly-spaced grids while allowing the variability of a complex irregular network. The user can create a single continuous model for the entire source dataset, simplifying processing and derivative product creation, and eliminating the overhead of splitting and re-merging datasets.

Autonomous systems are becoming more prevalent in both academia and private industry. These platforms, among other things, promise increased efficiency by automating simple tasks normally done by an operator, while also greatly reducing operational errors normally experienced with repetitive tasks. This means near-final products can be generated in real time directly on the survey platform, with little to no operator intervention required. Variable Resolution also provides some exciting potential for real-time data quality feedback to these autonomous systems as they are operating.


Burns Foster is the Product Manager for CARIS HIPS and SIPS. Burns has been with CARIS for nearly 8 years, originally providing support and training for processing-related CARIS products. As HIPS Product Manager, Burns is responsible for coordinating with clients, other vendors and industry researchers for new ideas and technology, as well as providing outreach and education on the capabilities of CARIS' industry-leading software. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree (Geomatics) with a minor in Computer Science from the University of New Brunswick.