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How-to Qimera - Working with Hypack HSX Data

Working with Hypack HSX Data

This How-to describes how to add and work with Hypack HSX data in Qimera.

On this page:

Additional steps can be found in the Getting Started document.


The data used for this How-to is single head Reson 8125 data logged using Hypack. The data was provided by the Port of London Authority; these files are available for download.  

About Hypack Data

The Hypack format for Raw Sonar Files is HSX; the files are logged by HYSWEEP. HSX files are ASCII format and can be loaded in a text editor for trouble shooting. HSX files are always in a projected coordinate system and this should be accounted for when you add the files to the project . Note that the projection information (i.e. which coordinate system was used during acquisition) is not stored in the HSX file and must be known and supplied by the user. Useful information about what is read from HSX files on import can be found on the Qimera Supported Data Formats page, the Add Raw Sonar Files Dialog page and the Sonar Source Data Import Capabilities page.

HS2 and HS2X format files are Hypack files that have had some level of processing applied to them; they are binary files and can be loaded in Qimera as Processed Point Files.

Howto Info

You can view a full-size version of any image in this How-to by clicking on the image. Numbers in images are referred to in the text preceding the image or in the image caption itself.

The import and processing of raw data formats is dependent on licensing. In Qimera, go to the Help drop-down menu and choose View License Status to view your current license coverage.

Launch Qimera

Launch Qimera by clicking on the icon, or from the applications menu of your computer (using Windows: Start > All Programs > QPS > Qimera).

Create a Project and Add Data

  1. After you open Qimera, the Welcome Screen will launch. Select New Project and Create (or simply double-click on New Project).

    Qimera Welcome Screen, New Project.

  2. Fill in Project Details:
    1. Add project name information (1). 
    2. By default, the folder for your project will be in the '/Users/username/FMData/Projects' directory, though you can choose another location (2).
    3. The Description box can be used to add additional notes about the project (3).
    4. Set the Project Coordinate System.
      1. The default "Automatic" option will set the project projection based on the first imported line of source data (in this case, the Raw Sonar Files).
        1. HSX files are always projected and the "Automatic" project projection will match the projection of the source files as set by the user on import (see Step 5, below). This is the recommended option for HSX data.  
        2. When data is unprojected/geographic (ex. Kongberg ALL files), the default "Automatic" option will set the project coordinate system to the closest UTM zone, based on the first imported line of source data.
      2. If you prefer to use another projected coordinate system, click the radial button next to Manual (4) and select your preferred coordinate system (5). When the source data is projected (HSX files), setting this option to a different projection then that of your source data will cause the files to be reprojected. 

  3. Click OK to create the project. Once created, the project folder will contain sub-folders for storing bathymetry files in QPD format, internal metadata, extracted external source data, and products.

    Create Project Dialog.

    Create Project

    Alternatively, you can create a project by clicking the Create Project Button or by going to the Project menu and choosing New Project. The default project location can be changed in the Shared Preferences (Project > Preferences, Shared Preferences tab, Default Project Folder).

    Project Projection

    At this time, Qimera projects must be projected.

  4. You will be prompted to add source files to you new project. Choose Add Raw Sonar Files.

    Add Source Files prompt.

    Add Source Files

    Alternatively, you can add Raw Sonar Source Files by clicking the Add Raw Sonar File button or by going to the Source menu and choosing Add Raw Sonar Files.

  5. Add your files, setting the input parameters appropriately:
    1. Use Add Files (1) to navigate to and select your HSX files.
      1. If a Vessel Name is not found in the first HSX file, a Create New Vessel dialog will launch. Add a Vessel Name and click OK to continue. A Vessel Assignment section will be added to the Add Raw Sonar Files dialog and the Vessel Name will be automatically listed under Vessel Assignment. Qimera will create a vessel file with this name in your project.  If you import data without vessel information at a later stage, you must choose the correct vessel to associate the data with since Qimera cannot determine this on its own. The sample data used in this howto contains the vessel name information, so this step is not necessary.
    2. Set the Time Reference to the time zone used during acquisition (2).
    3. Set the Coordinate Reference System of the Imported Data (3).
    4. Click OK to load the files.

      Add Files Wizard

    Coordinate System, HSX Data

    HSX files are always projected, however the coordinate system information of the imported data cannot be read from the file. Therefore, the default coordinate system in the import dialog (WGS 84) will never be correct and must be changed by the user. This is a design choice to prevent the user from assuming that Qimera is reading the information from the HSX files. If the user leaves the default of WGS 84, they will be warned and forced to change to a projected coordinate system.

  6. Qimera will load the HSX files to the project, scanning for and extracting any available information. HSX files will be listed under the Raw Sonar Files and an indicator will show the progress of loading that individual file (1), loaded tracklines will visualize in the 4D Scene (2), and overall progress for data extraction and any warnings or errors will show in the Job Activity Window (3, 4).

    Information being extracted from the HSX data during load.

  7. As the information from the HSX files is extracted, you will see the extracted vessel information in the File Table (1) and can review any encountered errors in the Job Activity Window (2). All of the HSX files and any additional source data extracted from the HSX files will be in the Project Sources Window (3) and all of the tracklines will be visible in the 4D Scene (4). You can review the Properties Window (5, top image) to see what information was extracted for each file (make sure that you have a file selected). For this example dataset, the Job Activity Window displays a warning about SVP position and time; this just means that the SVP position and time were not available in the file, so Sound Velocity Processing Strategies based on location or time won't be available unless you provide this information in the SVP Editor. In the Properties Window, you can see that Vessel Configuration, Position, Motion and Tide were all extracted from the file, but that there was no water column information or Beam Time Series information (4, lower image). Extracted information for HSX data may include:
    • position

    • heading

    • motion

    • sound velocity (if available)

    • tide and/or GPS/GNSS height corrections*

    * The tide record in HSX files can contain tide values, GPS height, or both. If the record is populated the information will be extracted by Qimera and made available for use in vertical referencing – however there is no way for Qimera to know which value (tide, GPS height, combination) was used.

    For a full list of what is extracted from each supported format, click here. Also note the Requires Processing symbol next to the file names; hovering your mouse over the symbol indicates that the files need full ray tracing.

    File Table populated with information and errors/issues encountered in Job Activity Window.


    Per-file extracted information in the Properties Window.

8. As information is extracted from the HSX files, the folders in the Qimera project get populated with the information.

Extracted information for line 002 in the Metadata folder.

Extracted SVP information in the SVP folder.

File Visualization & Selection in Qimera

Checking a file on  or off  in the Tree View controls the visibility of the trackline; it does not effect which files are used in surface creation and processing routines.
For files to be used in a processing routine (such as surface creation), they can be checked on or off, but they must be selected . Files can be selected by clicking on the file name or trackline with the mouse (use SHIFT-click or CTRL-click to select multiple files), or by selecting the Parent level above the files in the Tree View – in this example, the current Parent level would be Raw Sonar Files. This is a key part of Qimera's workflow.  

Note: When lines have just been added to your project and you are prompted to do a process, all of the lines that were added will automatically be included in that process.