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Qimera Add Raw Sonar Files Dialog

How to Start

What it Does

This dialog adds raw sonar files to your project.

General Description

Qimera will allow you to import multiple files from multiple different vessels from multiple days with multiple sensor types all in the same project.  For this reason, it is incredibly easy to manage large and complex data sets in Qimera.  Since differing files formats provide different types of information, you can only import one type of file at a time, however, note that you can provide data from several different vessels and acquisition days in a single import session as long as they are of the same file format.  Once data is imported into Qimera, you can re-arrange your view of the data dynamically to group it by day, vessel or file path in the Project Sources Window.

The file import experience will change slightly from one data format to another depending on what type of information Qimera can extract from the files.  Our goal is to import as much information as possible such that we eliminate the amount of user configuration to be done during file import.  The contents of 3rd party formats are unfortunately beyond our control and files that you bring into Qimera may be missing crucial pieces of information that limit our capability to provide a completely automated file import experience.  We have provided a few tips in the format specific sections below to help you optimize your data acquisition configuration for 3rd party formats to make the data import experience into Qimera as seamless as possible.

Qimera imports everything from Raw Sonar Files except for the multibeam data.  This is by design for two reasons: (1) it permits Qimera projects to remain small since it does not need to double up on the disk space, and (2) it allows Qimera to remain flexible to ever evolving data formats in that the software interface can evolve without worrying about maintaining multiple versions of a Qimera specific binary format for multibeam records.  During any operations, such as ray tracing, that require the raw multibeam data, Qimera will refer back to the raw data file for this.  The one exception to this case is for Hypack HSX files since they are ASCII text files and thus are not very efficient for I/O operations.  The multibeam records for these files are converted into a binary format in the project when they are imported.

Adding Files

The file import dialog is broken into two main sections, as shown in the figure above.

  1. File list window: A list of files that will be imported.  As you select files, or remove them, using the controls in (2), this list will update accordingly.  Once this list is populated with files, you can use the mouse and/or keyboard to multi-select files from the list to perform additional operations such as removing them from the import list, see (2) below.
  2. File import operations
    1. Add Files...:  Add files by launching a standard file explorer dialog to select the files you want to add to your project.
    2. Add Directory....:  Add all files in a directory and/or in all of its subdirectories, this will launch a standard file explorer dialog.  You can specify a file extension filter, such as *.db, or *.all and then add a directory of files by choosing the directory.  You can only import a single type of data at a time into Qimera.
    3. Remove Files:  Removes selected files from the import file list (1).
    4. Remove All Files:  Removes all files from the import file list.

File Format Specific Import Differences

Qimera can process raw sonar files to generate fully corrected and georeferenced sounding footprints for a number of formats.  Understandably, the import experience varies slightly from one format to the next based on the type of information that Qimera can automatically extract from the incoming data files.  Though the file and directory selection mechanisms are common for all incoming raw sonar data, the import dialog changes layout slightly to accommodate the slight differences between formats.  Qimera will disallow import of dissimilar file types in the event that you accidentally choose different file types.  Multiple import sessions will be required to accommodate this type of import.

Some small differences between incoming data formats necessitate small changes to the Import dialog, these are explored below.  For a full discussion of differences in what is supported in a particular file format, or how Qimera extracts and interprets information, please see Qimera Supported Import Data Formats and Qimera Sonar Source Data Import Capabilities .

Vessel Assignment

For QINSy .db and Kongsberg .all files, the vessel name is stored in the incoming file.  Qimera uses the vessel name to group incoming data together by vessel to ease data and processing management.  If the vessel name is missing or not specified, you will need to provide a vessel name when you first import the data of a particular type.  Follow up import sessions will allow you to choose the vessel that you'd like to associate the incoming data with. 

If you have saved a vessel configuration as a template and wish to use it during loading of your new sonar files, select the vessel name first, which will cause Qimera to populate the configuration combo box with all available override configurations for that vessel.  You would typically save a configuration using the Vessel Editor.  If you have not previously saved any configurations, you can import them to your project using the "..." file browse button.  After selection, your dialog would appear as shown below.

When the 4 files above are loaded, their vessel parameters will be overridden by the Override Configuration that is selected.  Qimera will ensure that the vessel name is consistent with that extracted from the file if the format is QINSy .db or Kongsberg .all.  If the selected configuration vessel name does not match the one found in the raw sonar file, the template will not be applied and Qimera will warn you about this in the Job Activity window.  If you do not want to apply a configuration template, change the Vessel selection back to Auto detect vessel configuration.

Vessel Assignment

Qimera will remember the last Vessel name and override configuration assuming you want to continue to use this.  If not, be sure to change back to Auto detect vessel configuration.

Vessel Assignment (when not .db or .all)

If you are working with multiple vessels for raw sonar files that are not QINSy .db or Kongsberg .all, be certain that you have selected the correct vessel name, even if you are not choosing a configuration override.  Once the files are loaded, they will be associated with that specific vessel.  Once loaded, you cannot change a sonar file's vessel association.  You must delete and reload the raw sonar files to change this association (sorry about that).

Geodesy Settings

Qimera natively supports direct reading of the geodetic settings for QINSy .db files only.  All other formats require that you specify the geodetic settings of the incoming data stream during the import stage.  Most incoming file formats provide positioning data in geographic coordinates, i.e. latitude and longitude, and all you will need to do is specify the coordinate frame in which these positions are reported, e.g. WGS84.  The default for these cases is WGS84.  The only currently supported format which provides positioning as projected data is the HSX format.  With HSX, you will need to specify the projection that the data are reported in, this may involve re-visiting your Hypack project to extract the exact projection parameters such as projection meridian, scale factors, etc.  Note that this information is NOT stored in the .HSX file at all.  The image below shows the additional coordinate reference system selection widget for a .all file.


Time Reference

All incoming files are expected to be reporting time in UTC as this is the most common practice in the industry today.  Hypack HSX files can be configured to log data in a local time zone and you may need to specify this during import if this is the case.  This information is not stored in the HSX file.  The image below shows the additional Time Reference acquisition time zone selection widget for a Hypack .hsx file.

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