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Released March 26, 2003


STENNIS SPACE CENTER -- Faculty, researchers and students from The University of Southern Mississippi will meet in Biloxi next week to share their latest work for an international hydrographic conference.

The Hydrographic Society of America will host U.S. Hydro 2003 at the Beau Rivage Resort March 24-28. During the conference, Southern Miss representatives will offer or contribute to 11 presentations that will feature technical sessions on the latest developments in hydrographic surveying, multibeam and side scan sonar, airborne coastal mapping and charting, data management, and electronic charting.

Sunil Bisnath, assistant research scientist with Southern Miss' Hydrographic Science Research Center (HSRC) at Stennis Space Center, will present two papers at the conference.

"My first paper deals with our work at the HSRC in monitoring wave heights and tides using GPS receivers placed on buoys anchored in the Mississippi Sound," Bisnath said.

The readings from these Global Positioning System receivers can then be used by hydrographic surveyors to remove those localized height effects as they chart the underwater landscape of the Mississippi Sound.

This makes for more accurate surveys, Bisnath said, since the boats on which the side scan and multibeam sonar is mounted will encounter similar wave action to these GPS buoys.

Other papers and presentations share information gained from research by the scientists and staff of the HSRC and the Department of Marine Science.

David Dodd, coordinator of the hydrographic science program at Southern Miss, will present an overview of the most recent field project by hydrography students at the Stennis teaching site. Students surveyed a section of the Pearl River near the Stennis Space Center in the summer of 2002 and that data has already been useful to the U.S. Navy and commercial interests in navigating that waterway.

Lt. Cmdr. Rafael Ponce of the Mexican Navy, a student in the hydrography master's program at Southern Miss, will present a paper on improvements in the Mexican Hydrographic Office.

Darrell Smith, a research scientist with the HSRC who manages the Electronic Chart Information and Display Systems (ECDIS) Laboratory at Stennis, will discuss the origin and evolution of the ECDIS Lab, which evaluates the capability and limitations of electronic charting systems, data, and products.

Hydro 2003 is a continuation of the series of hydrographic conferences, workshops and exhibitions that alternate between the United States and Canada.

THSOA is a nonprofit organization that promotes education in hydrography, the charting of bodies of water.

A division of the College of Marine Sciences, the Department of Marine Science is strategically located at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., home to the world's largest population of oceanographers and hydrographers. The department offers both master's and doctoral degrees in marine science and a master's degree in hydrographic science.



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July 16, 2003 9:18 AM