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Fledermaus 7.7.0 Release

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Introduction

2 November 2016, We're pleased to present Fledermaus 7.7.0

What's new in this version of Fledermaus

The Fledermaus 7.7.0 release focuses on improving five key areas of functionality:

  • The pipeline specific tools introduced in Fledermaus 7.5 and improved with the 7.6 release
  • The ESRI connectivity allowing direct input and output from an ESRI geodatabase
  • Point and Lines functionality for better interaction with the objects data 
  • Importing and displaying point files with RGB colour data, especially from LAS files
  • A collection of improvements for both FMGT and FMMidwater 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact.


Fledermaus - ESRI 

The ESRI Geodatabase connectivity in Fledermaus has been improved for setting up and connecting to a Geodatabase. A new dialog guides users for creating or opening an ArcGIS Connection, as shown in the image to the right. The user interface has also been improved to better indicate the status or your geodatabase connection, and to auto-connect to the geodatabase whenever necessary. This greatly improves the overall user experience and makes the ESRI connectivity easier to user. 


Fledermaus - RGB Points / LAS Files

The point object in Fledermaus has been enhanced to better support RGB colour data. For files that support per point RGB colours (such as LAS), the colour field will automatically imported and used. In addition, the individual colour channels can be optionally imported as custom attributes, which allows them to be viewed independently. 

The first image on the right is a sample point data set coloured by RGB values, while the second image is the same data set coloured just by the blue channel.




  



FLEDERMAUS - New Functionality for SD Points and Lines

Both the points and lines objects have been updated to allow more direct editing of the data. This functionality is located on the "Data" tab and includes the ability to dynamically add or remove records from the data set. Individual fields in the data table can be edited by double clicking on the desired field to be edited. Any changes will be automatically applied to data object. 

Additional changes are:

  • New ability to export the data as an ASCII CSV file. 
  • Improved the choice for many decimal points are used for labels in a point object
  • New multiple record creation when creating lines
  • Multiple files can now be imported at once (multi-select in file dialog)


FLEDERMAUS - Geo-picking Panel

Complementing the new functionality in the points and lines objects are new abilities for the Geo-Picking panel. Under the "Table Action" drop down menu, there are now options for Appending the newly picked points to either an existing point or line object. There is also the ability to Undo the last append operation and remove those points form current object. 



FLEDERMAUS - 3D PDF Export (Lines and Images)

The ability to export to a 3D PDF has been added to both the Line and Image object types.  The export creates one PDF file per each export, and multiple PDF (or PRC) files can be combined into one PDF using a 3rd party PDF tool such as Adobe Creator. 


FLEDERMAUS - General Updates 

  • There is a new option to export JPG images with world files from surface objects. Previously you could only export GeoTIFF files. 
  • The QPS Project object type is now replaced with a Dynamic Surface object that more closely matches how dynamic surfaces are used across all QPS projects. 

  • A new cmdop applet called scalarmerge can be used to merge multiple scalar files (of different resolutions) together. 


FLEDERMAUS - Watercolumn Point Clusters (Seeps)

A new more advanced algorithm is now available for estimating the point of origin for each seep on the seafloor. The Linear Best Fit (ODR) Line, attempts to fit a line through the seep data points then project along that line onto the surface selected. The image shows a sample of a set of clusters with the ODR lines shown.


FLEDERMAUS - Pipeline Tools

The pipeline tools have been enhanced in this release to improve the workflow when using data originally acquired in QINSy. The first improvement is that an existing navigation surface can be directly used from a QINSy project. In addition, the navigation data from the acquisition platform can be directly read from the QPD files and used directly within Fledermaus. If the QINSy Validator tool has been used to detect a pipeline, this will be automatically converted to a Fledermaus pipeline object on import.

To take advantage of these new options, the pipeline batch importer has been improved to import and work with these new important options. In addition, further work has been done to improve the general utility of the batch importer. 

FLEDERMAUS - Importing ASCII

The ASCII importer used in multiple locations of Fledermaus now supports specifying the text encoding (such as UTF-8) when importing ASCII files. This allows importing an even larger number of ASCII files that before. 

There is also a new wild card character option for date-time and lot lon ASCII parser formats.


FMGT & FMMIDWATER - QPD/DB reading support on Mac and Linux

The ability to read QPD and DB files in FMGT and FMMidwater is now available in both the Mac and Linux versions of the applications. 

FMGT Improved Geodetic Handling for QPD/DB pairing

FMGT will automatically set the project geodetic settings based on the information in the .db file when importing db/qpd pairs.  Previously, users had to pre-configure their projects to have the correct geodetic and projection information in order to have agreement between FMGTs backscatter mosaics and bathymetric grids generated in QINSy and/or Qimera.

FMGT - New Bathymetry/Backscatter Pairing for HDCS/GSF with R2S/R2SC files

We have added the capability to import and pair Teledyne-Caris HIPS HDCS or GSF bathymetry files with R2Sonic R2S backscatter files logged by HYPACK.  During import, these files get converted to R2SC files to remove HYPACK specific formatting to return to a purer representation of the original R2Sonic datastream.  This allows users who log their own R2Sonic data stream to a file to import these as well, providing that they use the R2SC file extension.  R2Sonic systems have been supported in FMGT for quite a few years, this particular pathway provides an alternate mechanism to get R2Sonic data into FMGT from other acquisition systems whereas before it was only possible via QPS QINSy or XTF pairing with HDCS or GSF.

FMGT - Teledyne-Reson Normalized Backscatter

Teledyne-Reson has recently added support for Normalized Backscatter output for some of their newer multibeam systems.  This new record type provides seabed snippet imagery data that is corrected in real-time for all of the sonar settings and oceanographic conditions to provide data that is free from signal artifacts.  FMGT now has support for this new format and we are eager for users to give it a try!  The usual additional corrections can be applied if desired, specifically the user can provide a reference grid for full 3D ensonified area corrections to augment the correction applied by Reson in real-time which captures only the across-track slope.  Furthermore, if an incorrect absorption coefficient is applied in real-time, you can still fix this in FMGT by specifying a new value, otherwise, the real-time correction is respected.  The screenshot on the right shows a normalized backscatter mosaic draped over a terrain model in Fledermaus.



FMGT - Saturation Detection and Warning

We have had multiple cases where a user reports problems in their backscatter only to find out that the data was saturated during acquisition.  Saturation of backscatter data can be very problematic and significant advances have been made in the past few years to allow operators to detect this and avoid it during acquisition.  We have taken some of the techniques used and have ported them to the post-processing environment to provide users with a warning that their backscatter data may be saturated, this message appears in the processing progress dialog as well as in the Messages tab after processing.  Currently, this is only supported for R2Sonic systems but we are actively investigating how to provide the same for Teledyne-Reson systems.

FMMidwater - Teledyne-Reson Compressed Watercolumn

FMMidwater now supports the new Teledyne-Reson "Compressed Watercolumn" packet.  This packet significantly reduces the total memory requirement for storing raw water column data in the S7K format.  FMMidwater supports this type of packet coming directly from .s7k or via QINSy .db files.  All makes/models that use this new packet are supported.  The image to the right shows imported data with the Reson compression option to exclude data beyond the bottom detection.


FMMidwater - New beam stacking mode

There is a new beam stacking mode for the beam view in FMMidwater.  Previous stacking worked in units of range, now you can choose to stack in units of depth.  The range stacking previously offered distorted the geometry and the new depth stacking preserves image geometry since each water column pixel is projected horizontally onto a vertical line directly below the sonar for each ping.  This provides for more realistic depiction of structures, this is useful when looking at wrecks.  Since the vertical axis units are in depth, the depth readout of the cursor position in this mode also gives a more reliable value, which is important for hydrographic applications where a minimum depth over features like wrecks is needed.  The two images to the right show how the structure of a wreck is better represented in depth-stacking mode (top image) compared to range stacking mode (bottom image).  The two modes are available in the Beam View Options panel and are R-stack and D-stack, for range and depth stacking, respectively.


FMMidwater - Convert multiple channels or heads simultaneously during GWC conversion

The GWC format only supports a single channel or a single head currently.  Users with multi-channel or multi-head data had to previously run the GWC conversion wizard once per head or channel.  There is now a new option that allows you to choose to convert all the channels or heads at the same time, see the new "All" tickbox on the screenshot to the right.  When this option is enabled, it will allow you to run the conversion wizard once, with the output being one GWC file per head or channel being inserted into the FMMidwater project.


FMMidwater - Application of sonar offsets to many GWC files simultaneously

Users can now update the sensor configuration parameters in multiple GWCs at the same time.  Previously this only applied the offsets to a single GWC at a time, which was tedious if changes to multiple files were required.  There is now a checkbox at the bottom of the dialog that allows users to update all the currently checked GWC files.


Resolved bugs

Fledermaus

  • Improved the floating point precision for kp column for Pipeline export.
  • Fixed issue with kp interval to ensure it is honored on export for pipeline settings
  • Now support a unique character in the label field for xyz file in ascii file import

3D Editor

  • Fixed issue for the 3D Editor preference files when making leverage of 3rd party (.HDCS) files.
  • Fixed issues with targets and the ability to edit positioning not working as intended
  • Fixed issue with the create Custom Hypothesis Preferences workflow.

FMGT

  • Improved handling for older Kongsberg sonars (EM1002), to get correct pulse length stored in the run-time telegram and avoid oversampling.
  • Fixed issue with Beam Pattern correction causing an abrupt exit of the application
  • DB/QPD pairings are now supported in Linux and Mac OS installations
  • Improvements in message information when handling R2Sonic data

FMMW

  • Fixed issue with navigation input GSF files now correctly reading heading, course and speed.
  • Fixed issue of FMMidwater interface getting disabled after a screen capture affecting Mac OS installations.
  • It is not possible correct the settings for multiple files in at a time in the sensor Configuration settings overwrite options 
  • Added support for Reson Seabat 7150, 12 kHz equidistance mode.
  • QPS plugins are now supported in Linux and Mac OS installations

FMCommand

  • Improvements for the scalar merge command 
  • Improvements for the scalar combine command