ABE Standard 3-D Navigation and Science Data Arrays
In addition to bathymetry and photographic data, numerous other sensors are
routinely deployed on ABE and their data acquired. These are compiled at the end
of each dive into a single scientific data file that is made available as a
comma-separated-variable (.csv) text file. This is a format that can be readily
imported into numerous data analysis programs such as MatLab or other software
appropriate for handling large data-files (e.g. Kaleidagraph - Mac OSX).
[Note: although .csv format files make for easy accessibility, the volumes of data collected by ABE on any given dive are large. Consequently, some non-specialist software (e.g. Microsoft Excel) which only allow files of up to ~65,000 lines to be opened cannot be relied upon for routine usage. Science users wishing to take advantage of ABE will need to come to sea ready to take full advantage of the wealth of data that they will generate from their funded projects!]
The science data in each .csv file are organized into columns with labelled headings that cover time, processed navigation (vehicle position given in latitude and longitude in decimal degrees), depth, pressure (the primary variable from which depth is derived), height off bottom and heading (both essential for photomosaicing). Oceanographic data included in the same file include conductivity and temperature from each of the two C,T pairs mounted on the vehicle and optical backscatter output from the Seapoint OBS instrument. Geophysical data collected routinely on all deployments (in addition to the bathymetric data discussed previously) includes three components of magnetic field data. CHIRP sub-bottom profiler data can also be acquired if requested. For these geophysical data to be processed, a further .csv file is also provided that is typically used just by the ABE group for engineering purposes; it includes pitch and roll data in addition to the heading data provided routinely to all science users.