Schedule, Status, & Updates

Schedule & Status

The first objective, as laid out in the group proposal in September of 2013, was to propose a first version of the guidelines for backscatter acquisition and processing for presentation at the GeoHab 2014 conference in Lorne, Victoria, Australia.  This has been completed successfully.  A draft of the document is available to working group members for review and comment — please contact Erin Heffron ( to be added to the group and to gain access to the document.

Our current goal is to have a completed document for GeoHab 2015, see Timeline below.

A second objective is to provide a series of recommendations to sonar and software manufacturers for development of future systems, which should be delivered within two years.

Timeline (updated May 2014)

1-Oct-13Finalisation of outline and decision on chapter authorship
15-Oct-13Report outline to BSWG
22-Nov-13Preliminary draft to Chairing Group
15-Dec-13Update to whole BSWG
20-Dec-13Progress status from chapter coordinators
15-Feb-14First complete draft submitted to editors
20-Mar-14Review and revised chapters back to lead authors
7-Apr-14First integration of all chapter by editors
6-May-14First complete draft to be presented and discussed at GeoHab 2014.
May/Jun-14BSWG comment period through June 2014
Jul-14Improved Draft
Sep/Nov-14Writing period through November 2014
Dec-14Review and completion of second draft
Jan/Feb-15BSWG comment period, edition & finish document, through February 2015
Mar-15Final version
1-May-15GeoHab 2015

Updates (most recent at top)

  • March 2017: The MGR Special Issue on backscatter data is well under way. Eight papers submitted and 8 more in preparation. Still time to submit. Check Marine Geophysical Research and the call for papers for more information.
  • January 2017: First paper published in the Special Issue of MGR:  Hillman J. et al. (2016) Validation of automated supervised segmentation of multibeam backscatter data from the Chatham Rise, New Zealand. doi: 10.1007/s11001-016-9297-9
  • December 2016: The deadline for submission to the Special Issue has been extended to 31 March 2017.
  • October 2015: First call for a Special Issue of Marine Geophysical Research on Seafloor backscatter from swath echosounders: technology and applications. Edited by Geoffroy Lamarche and Xavier Lurton.
  • 30 May 2015: Minor corrections were made to the document and what we consider the final version (pending any future major version updates) is available for download from the Publications page.
  • 8 May 2015: The document was presented at the 2015 GeoHab meeting in Salvador, Brazil.
  • 5 May 2015: A (nearly final!) draft of the document, Backscatter measurements by seafloor-mapping sonars: Guidelines and Recommendation, is available for download from the Publications page.
  • 19 May 2014:  The BSWG needs more information on user need.  We request anyone interested to fill out, and submit this form prior to 15 August 2014.  More info and link to the form here: User Needs Survey
  • 6 May 2014:  An evening meeting of the BSWG was held in conjunction with the GeoHab 2014 conference in Lorne, Australia.  PDF of minutes: BSWG_MeetingMinutes_6May2014
  • 6 May 2014: A presentation on the status of the BSWG was given by Xavier Lurton during the Acoustic Backscatter session of GeoHab 2014: BSWG_OneYearReport_GeoHab 2014_XL-GL
  • 1 May 2014: A draft document was made available in May 2014 and is available to working group members for review and comment — please contact Erin Heffron ( to be added to the group and to gain access to the document.

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