Tool: Sound Velocity Profile (SVP) Mission Planning Toolkit [Preliminary]

The SVP Mission Planning Toolkit provides a map that characterizes the impact of oceanographic spatial variability on multibeam echo sounding uncertainty. The map is based on the Global Real-Time Ocean Forecast System (Global RTOFS) and is constructed by examining the impact of spatial variability in forecasted temperature and salinity conditions on echosounding uncertainty through ray trace analysis techniques. For any given grid cell node in the RTOFS grid, we can express the spatial variability in terms of the resulting sounding uncertainty for a 60 degree beam angle. This gives a localized (~10 NM) estimate of the impact of spatial variability. You can find out more about the Global RTOFS at

Though the research that generates the maps is still in the proof-of-concept stage, we’re hoping that products like this can be used to provide guidance to seabed mappers in pre-cruise planning (helping to choose appropriate sound speed sampling instrumentation), during acquisition (to help guide sampling intervals and locations) and perhaps in post-processing. In the near future, we are hoping to augment the product line to provide optimal water column sampling locations for ships in transit to give guidance to operators as to when and where XBT measurements should be taken while underway.


How to use the SVP Mission Planning Toolkit:



If you are interested in adding your own cruise to the processing list, please email the following to mac-­

      • Latitude/Longitude bounding box of your cruise area
      • Ship name (used to identify your output)
      • End of cruise date (SVP Weather Maps will be generated up to this date)


We are interested in your feedback, please email mac-­ with comments, questions, ideas, etc.