Marine Link
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ARGUS & Sailing the NOAA's 'Magenta Line'

October 29, 2013

Mile Marker 365 of the ICW: Image credit SURVICE

Mile Marker 365 of the ICW: Image credit SURVICE

SURVICE Engineering comments on NOAA Federal Register Notice - Intracoastal Waterway Route “Magenta Line” on NOAA Nautical Charts, with reference to the company's ARGUS project, as follows:

SURVICE Engineering respectfully suggests that the magenta line is a prime example of “other” valuable uses for ARGUS data in its current form, beyond reconnaissance and its future potential use for nautical charting. 

ARGUS is a patented (U.S. Patent 8,417,451), autonomous, crowd source bathymetry (CSB) system that provides automated acquisition and processing of CSB data. 

Originally demonstrated as part of a NOAA research grant, the system consists of a compact, automated onboard unit designed to universally interface with and process the output of a vessel’s existing GPS and depth-finding systems and port the output to a central server.  Server-side processing enables vessel and data management; post-processing; and data storage, serving, and visualization for a wide range of temporal and spatial interests. 

ARGUS-equipped vessels routinely transit remote areas that have not been surveyed in decades, and for which there are no plans or resources to survey.

ARGUS is ideally suited for this requirement to locate the magenta line, especially since there is no need to publish a depth value, rather only the position of the route itself.  This is an example of ARGUS data, even with sub-Order 1 accuracy at present, representing information that is both more accurate and of greater utility than current chart data that has become outdated over time.

ARGUS has acquired millions of soundings along the ICW and inland rivers with dozens of routine vessel passages centered on the magenta line.  The incoming data can readily be post-processed to provide a continuous report of the magenta line position, with an associated statistical confidence.  There are hundreds of recreational boat owners willing to contribute to the betterment of the ICW and their waterways overall, which would make routine maintenance of the magenta line virtually cost-free.

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