James Cook University has a 19 metre research vessel, RV James Kirby, which also has a Reson SeaBat 8101 multibeam swath system used for seabed mapping surveys. A multibeam echosounder provides dense bathymetry (depth) data for visualising the seafloor in 3-dimensions.
From 26-27 July 2011, we conducted a Multibeam Training Workshop in Townsville, to teach staff and students basic acoustic theory and how to use the Reson SeaBat system and the acquisition software QPS QINSy. Workshop participants then sailed on the RV James Kirby to collect multibeam bathymetry data near Magnetic Island so as practice the theory learned in the classroom. Our new sound velocity profiler, a handheld YSI CastAway CTD, was also tested with success.
Back at James Cook University, staff and students were shown how to post-process the raw multibeam data using Caris HIPS/SIPS software to remove any noise, remove the variation in sea-level due to tides, and then derive clean gridded datasets for viewing in QPS Fledermaus 3D visualisation software and in ESRI ArcGIS.