QINSy (Quality Integrated Navigation System) is a hydrographic data acquisition, navigation and processing software package. The suite of applications can be used for various types of surveys, ranging from simple single beam surveys up to complex offshore construction works.
QINSy is an integrated navigation system software package used extensively worldwide for acquiring and processing multibeam data.
The primary philosophy behind QINSy is to save time in processing, and the possible need for re-survey, by providing tools for real-time qualification of the raw data and on-the-fly correcting for offsets, motion, sound velocity refraction and height, to produce “final” xyz soundings as the survey proceeds.
An array of real-time quality assurance tools and displays are available to the online surveyor who is arguably in the best position to determine if collected data meets survey specifications. In addition to displaying the raw uncorrected multibeam data, the Swath Display shows the data fully corrected for motion, refraction and height.
A multi-layered “sounding grid” shown in the Navigation Display is populated with corrected soundings on-the-fly giving the surveyor a complete view of what has been surveyed. Sounding grid data attributes like the “95% confidence level” and “hit count” provide real-time quality assurance of collected data. Backscatter and/or sidescan/snippets imagery data is written to another layer of the sounding grid. Importing of a design DTM and/or previous survey allows real-time monitoring of DTM differences.
Data pre-cleaning during acquisition is possible if the surveyor activates certain clipping filters and de-spiking methods. No data is lost since all the raw data are stored in database files and/or XTF files and all results data are stored in QPD files, which are qualified with flag attributes consequent to pre-cleaning tests.
XYZ data is cleaned and processed using the QINSy Processing Manager and/or Fledermaus. One of the main features in the Processing Manager is the navigation surface, which is a dynamic grid that updates itself as soon a modification to one or more of the QPD files is done.
Side Scan Sonar
QINSy interfaces to most side scan sonar (SSS) systems commonly used in the hydrographic industry, whether they are hull-mounted, or towed behind the vessel housed in a fish. To position a towed fish, QINSy can use USBL positioning, cable counters and/or manual layback methods to compute fish track. Kalman filters of various strengths are available to smooth the track. If more than one method is employed to position the fish, QINSy will show and compare both positions.
Fish position is shown plan metrically on the Navigation Display, optionally against a backdrop of electronic navigation charts and/or Geotiff images. The Profile Display provides a side view of the fish relative to the towing vessel, sea surface and seabed DTM.
A real-time waterfall type display is used to present the imagery data itself. Interesting features can immediately be captured using various targeting tools, and stored as targets for future reference. Target locations are shown in the Navigation Display as they are identified in the waterfall display.
Real-time mosaicking of the imagery is done through normalization and slant range corrections. If available, the imagery can be geo-referenced directly to a DTM.
For processing of the SSS data a dedicated SSS mosaic grid can be enabled in the Processing Manager. This high resolution grid can be combined with other hydrographic data if available. The Processing Manager includes a SSS viewer that is used for feature detection. With the look and feel of the real-time waterfall display, this viewer provides the same functionality as the SSS display available during online recording, with the added benefit of super-fast scrolling forward and backward through the data. The SSS viewer supports different ways, both automatic and manual, to perform bottom-tracking in order to correct for the slant range. The user can also create TVG files for normalization purposes.
Dredging vessels come in all shapes and sizes, and utilize several different methods of dredging. Functionality in QINSy provides a full range of support for dredging vessels and excavators, from the smallest excavators to the largest cutter suction and trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHD) in the world.
QINSy interfaces to, and communicates directly with, the dredging computer systems onboard the vessel, receiving all vital information needed to determine where the dredging tool(s) is in reference to the vessel and the area to be dredged. QINSy uses data from density and velocity sensors to compute the production of the vessel and signals from dredge status sensors for process automation. By employing a powerful algorithm to connect all moving parts of the dredger and the dredge tools, calculating the position of the dredge tool from measured angles and distances. The exact location of the dredge tool is computed and displayed continuously no matter the movement of the vessel itself. In configuring QINSy for the dredger, dredge tool models are defined so that the volume of dredged material removed or placed is accurately calculated.
Typically a pre-dredge survey is available to import into the QINSy “sounding grid”, as well as the design surface that prescribes the post dredge bottom shape. Both DTMs are imported into the sounding grid so that differences between the two can be visualized and computed as dredging proceeds. Several different color maps are available to present views of the DTMs most convenient to the dredge operator. Visualization of the dredging process is very important, for this matter QINSy includes various displays to view the dredger, the dredge tools, the excavated DTM and the design DTM in 2D (plan and profile views) and in 3D. As material is removed or deposited, QINSy updates the shape of the pre-dredge DTM in the sounding grid, thereby providing a realistic picture of excavated depth and overall progress. Simple two color coding can reduce the complexity of the process if desired by showing under-dredged areas in one color and completed areas in another color. The software includes a range of quality assurance tools that can smooth the entire operation and provide audio and visual alarms.
As a large percentage of dredging is done in busy traffic ways, QINSy is also used for navigation and situational awareness purposes. Interfaced to the onboard AIS transponder, all vessels within VHF range are shown on the same display as used for dredging or on a separate display if desired. This simple action significantly improves operational safety.
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