Developments in Low-cost Side Scan Sonar Applications in Aquatic Research and Conservation

To better study and manage aquatic resources at scales most relevant to the life history of resident organisms, tools and techniques that provide a unique perspective below the surface are needed.  This year marks the 10-year anniversary of recreational-grade, side scan sonar- an inexpensive tool for imaging underwater environments in striking detail.  The low cost of equipment is a practical benefit for agencies and institutions, and the ability to overlay processed image data in a GIS has led to groundbreaking developments with mapping, monitoring, and research of aquatic denizens.  Our objective is to provide information on working with low-cost side scan sonar to showcase the development of new techniques, processing approaches and biological applications, and to exchange ideas and identify future needs.  Given the breadth of applications, low-cost side scan sonar is poised to become an essential tool for investigations in navigable, inland aquatic systems.  Through this symposium we aim to highlight the advances of the last decade, and chart a course for this emerging field in the decade to come.
Adam Kaeser and Thom Litts
Adam Kaeser and Thom Litts
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