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Towards more attractivity for hydrographic surveying course through international joint diplomas

Nicolas Seube, France ; Maude Audet Morin, Canada

A major challenge for educationnal institutes in hydrography is to increase the training capacity in order to try to answer the demand in qualified hydrographers, in a market which growth rate is more than 20% per year.  Another challenge is to give to student a set of competence that goes beyond hydrographic surveying, but should include related topics like physical oceanography, or integrated costal management. The paper we propose will relate a on going project undertaken by the ENSTA Bretagne in France, the University of Québec at Rimouski (UQAR), and the CIDCO, a technology transfert center in hydrography in Rimouski (Canada, Qc).


This project aims at offering a new joint diploma to French and Canadian students in Hydrography, Oceanography, and in the next future in Geography. The motivation for such a project is twice : First, to give to student the opportunity of studing in two interconnected fields of hydrography and oceanography, in order to give them more profesional opportunities and possibilities for reconversion. Indeed, we observe that more and more environmental regulation of coastal construction project for instance will create new opportunities for young people having both skills in oceanographic modelling, oceanographic instrumentation, development of local observatory networks, and  hydrographic surveying.


The other motivation lies in the fact that European master programs suffers from a relatively low level in research, as the master thesis is generally perform through a 6 month project, instead of a 18 month period in the Canadian system. This lack of time for research impacts the graduated students ability to initiative, creativity in problem solving, which are highly desirable skills for the industry.


Our ongoing project is the lauching of a double graduation between the ENSTA Bretagne and UQAR for the academic year 2013. After the ENSTA Bretagne course in Hydrography, student will be have the possibility of a double diploma in the UQAR in performing a 18 months research period on joint project between the CIDCO and the UQAR  (on coastal erosion, sediment transport modelling and monitoring projects for instance) and to follow some course in geography of oceanography at the UQAR. Students will gain a double French/Canadian graduation and a double topic diploma which can be a real added value for their future career.


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This presentation will focus on latency estimation between an inertial motion sensor and a Vessel Mounted  Lidar (VML) and on a new method for accraute LIDAR bore-sight calibration method. This orientation latency is a major source of error for kinematic mapping systems and is generally not well known.

After deriving a estimate of orientation latency, we shall present an experimental set-up that implements this estimation technique. We shall demonstrate that orientation latency can be estimated without geo-referencing the LIDAR data, which cancel out errors due to the positioning system. Our procedure is capable to estimate the latency of a complete acquisition system, including a acqusition computer and software, a inertial motion unit, and a VML. Experimental results will prove that our precision and accuracy on latency estimation is less than 0.06 ms which makes it attractive for any VML or airborne Lidar application.

We shall present experimental results obtained with an experimental set-up including a Leica HDS6200 LIDAR, and a OCTANS4 IMU connected to the Qinsy acqusition software. By using this set-up, we proved that we can accurately estimate the OCTAN4. We also proved that acquisition driver parametrisation may affect the latency, and that our method is capable of estimating the latency induced by any variation of the buffer size.

Following the same lines, we designed a LIDAR bore-sight angle calibration method that can work without positioning, which therefore cancel out calibration errors due du positioning errors. This calibration methods is based on several static scans of a trihedral made with cylinders, and allows to compute very accurately bore-sight angles through an iterative procedure which also returns a quality index of the calibration.