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Search, Survey, and Recovery
System Solution: MELIAN II
MELIAN II is a comprehensive computer system used by Wagner
analysts to plan underwater searches and surveys. It is a generation
beyond any underwater planning tool in existence today.
|"But I'm sure it was here yesterday!"
II Information and Specifications
Integrated Database provides a
simple, unified method of managing all data.
Platforms and Sensors can be defined
in the database to save time in creating plans.
Search Planning is quick and easy
with MELIAN II's clues and probability maps.
Navigation & Controlling the Search
is easy, especially with "hands-off" autopilot.
Capturing Sonar Data is simple
and intuitive, with lots of display options.
Capturing Magnetometer/Metal Detector
Data is also very easy.
Analyzing Contacts is easy with
powerful database recall, filtering, and clustering.
Replaying the Mission to review
all your results and capture more contacts.
Exchange/Backup of Data is useful
to protect your data or share with others.
Specifications on hardware,
software, and interfaces
The MELIAN II system operates around an integrated database. It is relational and tuned for high performance.
Platforms and Sensors
Once a particular platform is defined, the information is
stored forever. Since a platform is defined as the vessel plus
a sensor suite, one can define multiple configurations of the
same vessel, and give them different names.
Defining a platform allows the control of its behavior during
automatic search control. In particular, one can specify the
turning circle required to keep the sensor safely off the bottom
at various speeds.
MELIAN II allows an unlimited number of different platform configurations.
MELIAN II uses multiple targets and multiple clues. It will
display a probability map for just one target or for multiple
targets. The MELIAN II probability maps are high-resolution maps.
Any number of clues can be specified, but the processing gets
very slow if there are more than a few clues that are less than
|The operator can
design his own search or survey area without using a probability
map. Or he can use the probability map and request MELIAN II
to compute an optimal search. The recommended search can be adjusted
many ways. The shape, size, or alignment of the search area can
be changed. The alignment of the search tracks within the search
area can also be specified.
When planning the execution of the search, the operator can
change the order or direction of the search tracks. He can mark
any track as completed, or he can mark a completed track as planned,
if he wishes to search it again.
MELIAN II handles all the details of en route time, turn time
estimation, track spacing, and overlap automatically, every time
a search plan is created or modified.
Navigation & Controlling the
MELIAN II interfaces to any navigation devices that conform
to the NMEA 0183 serial protocol. Modern navigation systems place
all their components (compass, knotmeter, GPS, fathometer) on
the same network, so in that case only one port is required for
MELIAN II to listen to all those sensors. If the navigation systems
are separate, extra hardware may be required to support the additional
MELIAN II can send steer commands to an autopilot that recognizes
NMEA 0183 messages HSC.
At all times, MELIAN II smooths the input positions from the
GPS and updates set and drift. If the search vessel has a system
that measures relative towfish position, then MELIAN II will
calculate the GPS position of the tow. Without a positioning
system, MELIAN II estimates the position of the towfish from
the layback and offset information defined in the platform. Symbols
for ownship and towfish show on the map display at all times.
When the search vessel approaches the search area, the operator
selects it from the MELIAN II database and activates it. MELIAN
II then begins to compute steering advice to begin the search
and then navigate each leg precisely, in the order specified
for this search. MELIAN II uses the turning circle diameters
you specified for the platform to make the approach to the first
leg and the transitions from one leg to the next. If the turning
diameter is greater than the distance between legs, then MELIAN
II inserts the extra distance needed to execute the turn (a modified
If the search vessel has an autopilot, MELIAN II will drive the
entire search plan unaided. Alternatively, the helmsman can follow
a display of the search plan.
If the search is interrupted for any reason, MELIAN II can automatically
resume it later, at the precise spot where the search stopped,
even if that is in the middle of a leg.
Capturing Sonar Data
Data from side scan sonar can be fed directly into MELIAN
II, either from analog or digital output ports. Any analog output
that can be adjusted down to 0-2.5 volts or less can be displayed
in MELIAN II.
The MELIAN II screen provides a waterfall display for the sonar
data that you can adjust for optimum viewing of the sonar data.
The operator can choose slant range or horizontal range scales
or you can remove the water column (adjust the bottom return
so it is in the center of the window and scale all pixels to
true horizontal range). MELIAN II can show one scan per vertical
pixel, or it can display by speed adjustment. At slow speed,
speed adjustment will omit lines...at high speed, each line may
occupy more than one row of pixels. The operator can also choose
from an assortment of monochrome or multiple color schemes. The
operator can reverse (dark/light) any color scheme you choose.
For capturing contacts (or events), the operator places the cursor
on the center of the object and drags a box. MELIAN II computes
the precise position of the contact, plots that position on the
computer map, and saves the image in the database. MELIAN II
also computes a complete location error distribution for each
contact and saves that in the database.
Capturing Magnetometer/Metal Detector
MELIAN II shows magnetometer/metal detector data on an oscilloscope-like
display. It can capture contacts with the cursor just like with
the sonar waterfall display and the position and image will be
saved in the database.
When a search has been completed, MELIAN II provides a comprehensive
set of features to analyze the collected contacts.
Of course, the operator can plot all or some of your contacts
on the map display at any time. The operator can select all the
contacts, choose them one at a time, or use a special "filter"
that can discriminate by classification, search, sensor type,
or time. MELIAN II gives each contact a unique name based on
the internal clock, but the operator can assign more meaningful
names to those contacts of the greatest interest.
When the contact symbols are on the screen, the operator can
click on each and display a data screen or examine the contact
If the search is conducted with lots of sensor range overlap,
there will probably be more than one contact for each significant
object on the bottom. In these cases, MELIAN II has an automatic
"clustering" feature which combines the individual
contacts into clusters according to time, position, and position
error. This does two things: first, it unclutters the display
and, second, it provides more accurate positions on objects that
require further investigation by divers or ROV. For a magnetometer
or metal detector search, the clustering function will actually
produce cross-fixes, given that the object is detected on paths
that are not parallel.
Replaying the Mission
After a search is completed, it can be thoroughly reviewed
using data you stored on optical disk. MELIAN II operates completely
as if the search were being conducted in real time. The sensor
position shows up on the map display and the sonar data can be
viewed in the waterfall display.
Just as in real time, the operator can capture additional contacts
that are then saved in the database. Because the navigation data
is also stored on the optical disk with the sonar information,
the correct position is also stored with any new contacts designated
in playback mode.
Stored search sessions are catalogued on each disk. The operator
can select any catalog, start or pause playback, and choose any
time within the search session time window to begin playback.
Exchange/Backup of Data
MELIAN II allows the entire database to be archived (not including
raw sonar, which is stored on a separate optical disk) onto floppy
disks, DAT drive, or optical disk.
MELIAN II can be used to print graphics from the screen to a
color printer. It can also print out or save to a data file all
the details about one particular scenario.
- SPARC 110 MHz MicroSPARC-II
- Main Memory
- 32MB RAM
- Standard Interfaces
- Ethernet 10MB 10-Base T, AUI Compatible 4-Station Microhub
- 10MB/Sec SCSI 2
- NMEA-0183 Serial RS-232C
- Metal Detector/Magnetometer
- RS-232C Serial Port
- Centronics Compatible parallel port
- 3 32-bit expansion slots (Desktop Only)
2 32-bit expansion slots (Laptop with PXU Only)
- Mass Storage
- Internal 3 1/2" Floppy disk 1.44MB,
MS-DOS/IBM Compatible Internal 1.05 Gigabyte Winchester
- SPARCStation 5TurboGX 8-bit, 2D 3D, 1152 x 900
Optional TurboGX Plus
- Console Monitor
- 17" Color (Desktop Only)
10" Color LCD Active Matrix (Laptop) Input
- AT-101 or UNIX layout
3-Button Optical Mouse
- Remote Terminals
- 14" Color X-Terminal for Remote helm, map, & sensor
display (except sonar)
- Sonar Interface
- 2-Channel A/D, 16-bit linear, up to 48 KHz Sampling Rate,
5-Volt TTL trigger channel, Dynamic Range Line 80dB, Full Scale
Input 2.8Vpp40 MFLOP Digital Signal Processor
- Sonar Data Recorder
- 2.3 Gigabyte Removable, Rewriteable Optical Drive (24-48
hours per disk)
- 600 DPI dye Sublimation Printer
- Operating System
- SOLARIS 4.1.1 X-window System/MOTIF 1.2
- Input of search target and clues, Probability maps, Probability
of success/time to find graph, Automatic generation of search
plans, Operator defined search plans
- Operator entered contacts and contact database, Contact clustering
tool, Search performance maps, Negative information handling
and re- planning, Recovery planning
- Multi-function map server with DMA-WDB2 world map, Vessel
position smoothing, Automated search execution using NMEA 0183
auto pilot and fully digital helm, Automatic search resumption
- Data Display
- Magnetometer/Metal Detector digital interface and display,
Optional Side Scan Sonar digital interface and display, Point-and-click
contact designation, image capture and precise position logging,
Optional Sonar data recording and flexible playback.
- Navigation Input
- Location: GLL, RMC; Depth: DBK, DBT, DBS; Course and speed:
VHW; Heading HDM, HDT, HSC, HCC
- Navigation Output
- Autopilot heading command: APB or HSC
- Metal Detector/Magnetometer
- ASCII messages, various manufacturers or custom messages
accommodated, RS-232C serial or RS-423 Synchronous
- Sonar Interface
- 2- or 4-channel analog (left
and right) 0-2.8Vpp, 5-volt TTL transmit/receive trigger. 2-
or 4-channel digital (Edgetech and Klein are supported -- call for other equipment interface). Operator controls dual-frequency
display crossover range. Independent gain controls for high and
low frequencies. 0-2.8Vpp, 5-volt TTL transmit/receive trigger.
DIGITAL. Single- or dual-frequency
digital sonars, serial or synchronous interfaces supported. Klein
and Edgetech interfaces available immediately. Others may require
time for engineering changes to suit the interface.