8. Neptus Elements

In this section we will give you a in-depth view of the building blocks.

8.1. Neptus Locations

All across Neptus, geo-referenced locations can be edited using similar dialogs, optionally using the clipboard for copy/paste operations.

8.1.1. Location Parameters

Whenever a location is edited in Neptus, the user is shown a dialog similar to the picture below. In this dialog the user can input the coordinates in different formats, adding optional offsets from a central location.


Location edition panel

Neptus allow the definition of z-axis coordinates using Depth or Altitude from surface, accessible from a drop-down selection. Optionally, users may also include offsets from the defined central location (offsets are added to this location). Offsets may be Orthogonal (North/East/Down), Spherical (Distance/Azimuth/Zenith) or both, in which case they are both added to reference location.

8.1.2. Clipboard operations

In location dialog, it is also possible to copy the current values to clipboard or fill in all values with the location which is currently in the clipboard.

For this, use the buttons at the bottom for copying to clipboard and pasting from clipboard respectively. Moreover you can also copy locations to text files since these are stored in clipboard as XML text. Additionally you can make the location absolute (with no offsets) by clicking on Abs button.


Copy/Past location panel

8.2. Map Panel

The map panel or simply the map or renderer 2D, is the component where the geo-located objects and system are displayed. Addicionaly a world map overlay is accessible in every view (explained bellow).

If there is a mission loaded, and the edition of the mission map is enabled, it will be available the edition option.

8.2.1. World Overlay

World Overlay is shown or hidden in every renderer 2D panel with the type of W key. Upon set to visible you can see an indication of the active overlay at the bottom of the render (as shown in the following picture).


World Map Indicator

There are on the top right side of the renderer the controls as shown in the following picture. The first has the same function of the W key. That is showing or hidden the overlay. this first control is always shown (if a red stripe is visible on the control, that means that the overlay is active). The second control button is visible when the overlay is active and opens the configuration dialog. The third is visible if the selected map provider has an options configuration dialog. On click opens the option dialog.


World Map Controls

When the overlay is visible, the configuration panel can be called by typing Ctrl+W or by on render control button. You can choose the overlay to use from this configuration panel. The actual overlay list will depend on the available ones. For each overlay you can clear the cache and for those which have further configuration you can also configure them. Some map provider may provide the ability to fetch the tiles from the current zoom level plus two more. Please use it with care because this will fetch a lot of tiles.


World Map Config


Note Dependent on the distribution, the available map providers may vary, but the available ones will always be shown here.

On the top of the configuration dialog there are some controls and indicators. From left to right these will be explained. The first is the zoom level indicator (the values span from 1 to 22). The next buttons allow to zoom in (+ or PgUp) and zoom out (- or PgDown). Next is shown the used memory against the available one (this is for the complete application and not for this component alone, but you can get an idea if you can fetch many tiles). Next the is an indicator showing the number of tiles that are loading and the ones loaded in memory. Next the is a button Stop Loading. This will clear all the memory tile cache and also will stop all the pending downloading tiles (by clicking this the described actions, the visible tiles of the active map provider will be loaded, so this is a way to unload unused tiles from memory). From time to time the tiles not used for some time will be unloaded from memory.

The tiles will be loaded as needed. Some will take more time than others to load. Each tile will advertise their state as shown in the picture bellow.


World Map Tile Loading

Every tile will be stored in a disk cache inside a .cache/wmcache folder. This folder can be copied and used on other instances. This cache will be the first place that each tile will look to load from. If a tile already exists in this cache, it will be used. Otherwise the tile has to be created (in case of local processing) or it can be fetch on the Web.

One more note. There are two types of map providers: a tile provider and a map provider. The first are providing tile (256x256 pixels) images. The second are providers that control the maps freely and may or may not be tiles or even may not cache maps. Also these can be base maps or layer maps. The former are full maps providers and only one at a time can be active, the latter are maps that provide some extra information. More than one layer maps can be active at a time and for this you can set the priority of appearance (which one appears on top).

Please be aware that most map providers are copyrighted material, so please use it with care.


Note The one named Mercator SVG (Local) does not need Internet access to work because is generated from an internal SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file.


Tip If you download the tiles in the mission preparation phase while you have Internet access, you can use them while on mission and without Internet access.

The cache folder can be copied to other computers. Just put in the same folder (.cache/wmcache).

8.2.2. Editing the Map

Every Neptus mission is associated with (at least) one map. Maps are a collection of features like geo-referenced marks, LBL beacon positions, images, polygons and other geometric elements. Entering Map Edition Mode

To edit the map, you have to enter the map edition mode. You can do that by pressing the respective toggle-button in the map toolbar as shown below:


Entering map edition Map Edition Tools

When in map edition mode, a new toolbar is added to the map with tools related to map edition. Following there is a list of tools that can be used:

Map Edition Tools
Icon Name Description
fig_map_b2d Box 2D Add a parallelepiped to the map. When this tool is selected, you can press and drag the mouse over the map to create new box obstacles.
fig_map_freehand Free-hand drawing When this tool is selected, the user can press and drag over the map to create an open path (line) element.
fig_map_line Point-to-point drawing When this tool is selected, the user can left-click the map to add line segments and right-click the map to finish the path.
fig_map_polygon Point-to-point polygon When this tool is selected, the user can left-click the map to add line segments and right-click the map to finish the polygon (closed path).
fig_map_qroute Q-Route This tool is similar to the point-to-point drawing but the created object is a Q-Route (path with a width property).
fig_map_mda Mine danger area This tool allows the rapid creation of Mine danger area regions. MDAs are created by clicking the center of the MDA and then moving the mouse to one the extremities of the MDA (defining a circle).
fig_map_undo Undo last operation If some edit has been made to the map, it can be reverted by clicking this button.
fig_map_redo Redo last undone operation If some edit was undone, it can be redone by clicking this button.

On top of these tools, the user can also right click over the map to get a context-sensitive popup menu. If the user clicks outside of any map feature, a popup like the one presented next will be shown:


Map pop-up menu

From the previous menu is possible to additionally add marks, cylinders ellipsoids and images to the map. When adding a new feature from this popup menu, the user is presented with a dialog that has all the properties for the given feature type. An example for image features is depicted next.


Map image feature properties

The Object ID and Object name properties are shared by all map features and are used as identifiers to the objects. By default, a valid ID is selected for you. This Id can however be changed but take into account that it cannot have any white spaces.

The properties of the objects can be later changed by right-clicking a map object and choosing the option Properties from the shown pop-up menu as follows:


Map feature popup menu

Additionally you can opt to remove the object from the map using the option Remove in the same popup menu.

All features are associated with a geo-referenced location. To change the position of a feature you can edit this parameter or drag it in the map. Moreover, if the feature has a rotation property (parallelepiped, ellipsoid, image) you can also rotate the feature by dragging it while pressing the Shift key.


Different types of map features Saving the Map

To save the map to disk (as part of the mission file), simply leave the map edition mode by clicking the respective toggle-button and the map will be saved automatically.

8.3. Maneuvers

In the following sections we will explain the details of some maneuvers most commonlly used. The available maneuvers for a specific vehicle can be seen when editing a plan to that vehicle.

8.3.1. Goto

The Goto maneuver is used to make a vehicle travel to a waypoint. The figure shows the graphical representation of this maneuver. Maneuvers Common Graphical Representation


Goto Maneuver

The green indicates that the maneuver is the initial maneuver of the plan. If blue indicates a geo-referenced maneuver and grey if not. Please note that in most maneuvers this point represents the initial or end points for the maneuver, but may also be a place holder/reference for the maneuver. In a plan the entry and exit arcs to/from the maneuver are the actuals passage points. Maneuvers Common Parameters

The Goto maneuver serves algo to describe some common parameters to all maneuvers (as depicted in the figure).


Goto Maneuver Parameters


  • Initial Maneuver indicates/sets this maneuver as the plan start maneuver.

  • Latitude, Longitude, Location indicates the location for the maneuver (these are only editable on the map).

  • Z the Z to use in the maneuver (its meaning depends on the Z_Units).

  • Z-Units the Z units can be NONE, DEPTH, ALTITUDE, or HEIGHT:
    • NONE means Z has no reference.
    • DEPTH means water surface is the zero for Z (positive values means more depth).
    • ALTITUDE means ground surface is the zero for Z (positive values means more altitude).
    • HEIGHT means WGS-84 height value.
  • Speed sets the speed to be used in the maneuver (or in some cases an indicative speed to be used).

  • Speed units the speed units can be RPM, m/s, or % in the execution of the maneuver given the position error.


Maneuver Z-Units visual representation

In the figure, one can see a dash at the middle, bottom, and above of the filled circle. The dash has the following meanings (dependent of the Z-Units):

  • At the bottom, as in the figure, means that the waypoint of the maneuver is set bellow the reference.
  • At the middle means that the waypoint of the maneuver is set on the reference.
  • At the top means that the waypoint of the maneuver is set above the reference.

8.3.2. Loiter

This maneuver is used to loiter the vehicle. This can be done in a circular, a race track, or a figure eight patterns. These modes can be seen in the following figure.


Warning For the LAUV the only available loiter pattern is CIRCULAR.

See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.


Loiter Maneuver


Loiter Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver. The rest are described next (depicted in the figure):

  • Duration sets the duration for the loitering (in seconds, 0 for unlimited).
  • Direction sets if the path will be clockwise or counter-clockwise.
  • Loiter Type sets the type of movement for the loiter: circular, race track, or figure eight.
  • Length sets the length for the loiter pattern.
  • Bearing sets the bearing (in circular this does not apply).

8.3.3. Station Keeping

Station keeping is similar to loitering but does not force a pattern. This will only keep the vehicle in an area. In this maneuver it only depends on GPS and not vehicle’s navigation.


Warning For the LAUV this will be done only at surface. So it will ignore Z and speed.

See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.


Station Keeping Maneuver


Station Keeping Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver. The rest are described next (depicted in the figure):

  • Duration sets the duration for the loitering (in seconds, 0 for unlimited).
  • Radius sets the radius for the hover box.

8.3.4. Rows

Rows maneuver (also known as lawn mower pattern) is use to survey areas. The figure depicts some configurations of this maneuver. (See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.)


Rows Maneuver


Rows Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver. The rest are described next (depicted in the figure):

  • Length is visual described in the following picture. This sets the length of the rows box.

  • Width is visual described in the following picture. This sets the width of the rows box.

  • Horizontal Step is visual described in the following picture. This sets the distance between consecutive row legs.

  • Horizontal Alternation is visual described in the following picture. If this value is 100%, then there will be an even spacing between the row legs. A different value will allow non-even spacing benefiting side scan sonar imagery. In the left rows maneuver of the following figure, the meaning of this parameter is shown. If the alternation is +50%, it means that the spacing in each legs pair between non-even to even leg will be 50% of the value of the horizontal step. The spacing between non-even legs will always be the double of the horizontal step.

  • Curve Offset is visual described in the following picture. This value denotes the extra distance in meters that the vehicle will travel before turning to the next leg.

  • Square Curve is visual described in the following picture. This will set if the curve will be in a square form or after the curve offset the vehicle will follow straight to the box edge. (The first option will allow a more smooth entry on the rows box.)

  • Paint SideScan Range Shadow is visual described in the following picture in the right rows maneuver. If checked it will paint the shadow according to the range set in the following parameter.

  • SideScan Range Shadow is visual described in the following picture.This will set the range of the SideScan. This is a visual aid and does not configure the side scan itself.


    Rows Maneuver Parameters Visual Aid 1

  • Bearing is visual described in the following picture. This value sets the initial bearing the pattern.

  • Cross Angle is visual described in the following picture. This value defines the cross angle for the pattern as shown in figure. This value affects the pattern geometry before the bearing is applied. This can be seen in the right part of the following figure.


    Rows Maneuver Parameters Visual Aid 2

  • First Curve Right is visual described in the following picture. This setting allows this pattern to be executed mirrored. Be aware of the positive rotation for the bearing angle and cross angle.


    Rows Maneuver Parameters Visual Aid 3

8.3.5. RI Pattern

This Reacquire-Identify pattern maneuver can be use to search for something. The figure depicts some configurations of this maneuver. (See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.)


RI (Reacquire-Identify) Pattern Maneuver

This pattern is a composition of three rows pattern maneuver (with the length equal to the width). As it can be seen in the following figure, the composition is done by rotating by the middle by 60° between each row pattern. In this maneuver the middle point is the handle and differs from the start and stop waypoints.


RI (Reacquire-Identify) Pattern Maneuver Explaned


RI (Reacquire-Identify) Pattern Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver. The rest are described described in the Rows Maneuver.

8.3.6. Cross Hatch Pattern

This Cross Hatch pattern maneuver can be use to search for something. The figure depicts this maneuver. (See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.)


Cross Hatch Pattern Maneuver

This pattern is a composition of two rows pattern maneuver (with the length equal to the width). As it can be seen in the following figure, the composition is done by rotating by the middle by 90° between the two row pattern. In this maneuver the middle point is the handle and differs from the start and stop waypoints.


Cross Hatch Pattern Maneuver Explaned


Cross Hatch Pattern Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver. The rest are described described in the Rows Maneuver.

8.3.7. Follow Path and Follow Trajectory

These two maneuvers are similar. The difference is that FollowTrajectory has an attached time to be at a specific path point. The following figure depicts an example of these maneuvers. (See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.)


Follow Path and Follow Trajectory Maneuver

The path can be drawn visually or edited in a text form (mouse click access) as shown in the following figure. Each line represents a path point represent by north offset, east offset, down offset, and time offset (seconds). The offsets are in meters from the maneuver handle location.


Follow Path and Follow Trajectory Maneuver Path Edition


Follow Path and Follow Trajectory Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver.

8.3.8. Elevator

The Elevator maneuver is intended to make the vehicle change depth/altitude in an small area. The figure depicts this maneuver. (See Goto maneuver for the common graphical representation.)


Elevator Maneuver


Elevator Maneuver Parameters

The common parameters can be seen in the Goto maneuver. The rest are described next (depicted in the figure):

  • Z sets the final Z that the vehicle will hold at the end of the maneuver. Visually if the vehicle will ascend there will be an horizontal dash and a arrow pointing up bellow it (in the figure depicting this maneuver). If it will descend the arrow will be pointing down and above the horizontal dash. If it will do neither, only the horizontal dash will be drawn, with the exception if Start from current position is set. In this case, ascending or descending depends on the previous state of the vehicle.
  • Radius for use in ascent/descent. If 0 the controller to should use a custom control strategy.
  • Start from current position makes this maneuver start from current position or travel first to the location in the location parameter. If this is set the circle will be filled red.
  • Start Z sets the initial Z (if the flag Start from current position is not set).


Warning When the vehicle gets to the End Z (at the desired Latitude/Longitude) the maneuver is completed. For keeping its position you should use another maneuver.

8.4. Console Components

8.4.1. Settings

The settings window is composed of a Functionality list on the left, a space for properties panel on the right and three buttons on the bottom.

  • Functionality List On the left there is a list of all the configurable functionalities. Select one to see the associated properties on the Properties Panel.

  • Properties Panel On the right there is a panel where the settings of the selected functionality are displayed. All properties with an asterisk (*) affect all windows of Neptus (both console and mission review) while the others only affect the console.

  • Buttons On the bottom, are the “Advanced” check box, the “Save” button and the “Cancel” button.

    1. Advanced check box: When selected, makes all the advanced properties visible. Be advised that properties that are normally hidden should not be edited, this is only for users that know how this properties affect Neptus.
    2. Save button: The Save button saves all the changes and closes the window.
    3. Cancel button: The cancel button closes the window without saving.

Example of Use

In the console, select Settings from the top bar. Then select All Settings. In the Functionality List, select “Audio Vehicle State Alerts”, then uncheck the check box.


Settings Dialog

8.4.2. Abort Button

This operational console component allows the send of an abort request to vehicles. Without any key modifiers, the abort will be sent to the operational console main system. By using Ctrl key modifier, the abort will be sent to all vehicles.


Abort Panel (Round or Square)

One should notice that the sending will be made through Wi-Fi.

If an external system with acoustic modem is available (connected and reachable by Neptus via Wi-Fi) that will be used to send the abort (see next section). Abort Modem Request

For acoustic modem sending the Abort Modem Request functionality is used by the Abort Button. This will try to use the systems from the connected ones with such service (announced by the announcing service) and use it to relay the message by acoustic through these systems to submerged systems.


Note If no external system is available to use, a visual warning will be shown.

8.4.3. Chronometer

This component provides an chronometer functionality. On an operational console one can be opened by typing Ctrl-K keys.


Chronometer Panel

The first button is to start/stop the time count. The second is to pause/resume the time count. The third configures the a time so countdown function can be used (configuration opens the dialog depicted in the following figure). The last button configure the count to be up or down direction (counting down will only work if a time to count from is configured, once the time reaches the configured time the backgroung turns red).


Chronometer Panel Config

8.4.4. Command Planner

The command planner allows to send vehicles to some location, just by traveling or by loitering there. This component shows itself as menus on the renderer and can be seen in the following figure.


Command Planner

As seen in the figure, this functionality is identified by the word Command and the vehicles that can be commanded at that time.

There are some configurations you can make to the execution of these commands dependent on the type of vehicle (underwater, surface, or areal). This includes the depth or altitude the command will be executed, the radius of loiters and speeds.

The commands that can be issue are:
  • Go here – sends a Goto maneuver with the map clicked location;
  • Surface here – sends a Station Keeping maneuver with the map clicked location (this for AUVs and ASVs will be done at surface);
  • Loiter here – sends a Loiter maneuver with the map clicked location.


Warning Upon click on the selected command, it will be issue immediately to the vehicle.

8.4.5. Contact Marker

This operational console component allows the addition of marks on the map. This component shows itself as a menu on the renderer and can be seen in the following figure.


Contact Marker

This component allows to add or remove marks, as well as to copy the location of those marks.


Note You can add known systems locations as markers to the map.

8.4.6. Entity State Panel

This operational console component allows the visualization of the entities state reported by the system. The next figure depicts this panel.


Entity State Panel

This panel shows the entities in a tabular form. The first column shows the entity name. The second indicates the state (see bellow for the meaning). The third allows the user to ignore the state for the summary alarm. The forth shows the description as sent by the system. The last column indicates the age of the information for that entity.

The previous figure, has an led indicator that summarizes the state of all entities. The eraser button, erases all the states and resets the table. The next table indicates the states, color codes, and meanings.

Entity Color Codes
Color Meaning Description
Grey Does not have any particular meaning.
Green Normal Indicates that all is normal.
Blue Info Indicates that some action is being done like boot or initialization, but does not mean error state.
Yellow Fault Indicates a minor error. This fault may evolved to an error.
Orange Error This indicates an error in an entity and if persists it may evolve into an failure.
Red Failure This indicates a failure in an entity, This may cause the entity to break.

8.4.7. GPS Panel

This operational console component allows the connection of an external GPS device to Neptus. This will feed MyLocation and other plugins with an updated base position and heading. Regarding the heading, one should be carefull because if the GPS does not have a compass, the heading is only valid if you are moving. The figure bellow depicts this panel when connected.


GPS Panel

To connect the GPS Panel you need to connect an external GPS device either by serial port or USB. Then click Connect button. If no ports are available the indication of No serial port available indication as the figure bellow. This might be indication of a missing driver for the connection. In this case you should check your GPS manual or, if you are using a converter it’s manual.


GPS No Serial Available

If serial ports are available, the following dialog (depicted in the figure). You should choose the port ant the rest of the connection settings (the default should be ok).


GPS Config Port

After pressing ok, the panel will scan the configured port for valid GPS data (as depicted in the following figure).


GPS Waiting For Data

Then it will either show an error No Valid Data (as depicted in the following figure), or the latitude/longitude data.


GPS No Valid Data

The following figure shows the settings used by this panel.


GPS Panel Config

Their meanings are:

  • Input Timeout (s): Configures the timeout in seconds.
  • Preferred Width: The width that the panel should present itself by default.
  • Preferred Height: The height that the panel should present itself by default.
  • Serial Port Device: The default serial port.
  • Serial Port Baud Rate: The default baud rate.
  • Serial Port Frame Type: The default frame time.
  • Use speed to filter heading: In order to use the heading from the GPS without a compass a filter for speed should be applied.
  • Minimum speed to accept heading (m/s): The minimum speed above which the heading will be used (to filter the erroneous heading when we are almost stopped).

..consoleElements/incommingData.rst-i .. Incomming Data (pode n estar traduzivel) .. include:: consoleElements/lblRangeDisplay.rst-i

8.4.8. Log Preview

This map interaction mode allows the user to quickly view data from previously executed missions on top of the main console map.

In order to load data from a previously executed mission, the user must enter the log preview interaction mode by clicking the respective icon in map toolbar.


Entering Log Preview map interaction mode

After entering the Log Preview mode, a new control panel appears on top of the map. Using this panel, the user can choose to open an existing LSF log file and, from there, select witch data overlays (layers) become visible. The user must select a Data.lsf file.


Opening log file using Log Preview toolbar

When a log file is selected, a list of available data visualizations (map overlays) becomes visible as a set of check boxes. Only the selected overlays are displayed on the map. According to the selected log file, the list of available overlays may differ.


Right-click menu when a log file has been opened

When a log has been successfully opened, the user can also right-click anywhere over the map for a list of aditional actions:

Open LSF – Open a different log file.

Open in MRA – Open this same log file using the Neptus Mission Review and Analysis application.

Import plan – Import the plan that was executed by the vehicle to produce this log into this console.

3D Plot – Show the vehicle’s trajectory in 3 dimensions (popup window).


Note If the user selects a different map interaction mode, the Log Preview toolbar is hidden but the selected overlays, on the other hand, remain visible.

8.4.9. Logs Downloader

This component is the one that can be integrated into an operational console to control the logging on a system/vehicle (see the figure bellow). The panel is composed of three buttons. By clicking it will ask for a new name for the log about to be started.


Logs Downloader

Buttons explanation.
Symbols Description
fig_log_btn_newLog Start a new log.

Download all missing logs from main vehicle, if there is connectivity. The logs to be downloaded will be the logs only from the current day. It also summarizes the state of the download (logs from the day).

For more control over the logs to download open the download panel.

fig_log_folder_down Open the actual downloader, see the next section for a detailed description.


Warning The log list is not automatic to not overload the vehicle server. To get the list and download click it to get just the list use the next described dialog. Logs Downloader Worker

This component controls and monitors the logs download activities for one system. Multiple systems are supported by the use of tabs, one for each system.


Logs Downloader Worker

The window is composed by three parts, two at the top and one at the bottom. On the top left is shown the log folders listing with the state of synchronization indicators (the meaning of the icons can be seen on the bellow). On the top right the log files listing also with their synchronization state. On each of the listings one can multi-select folder or files. On the bottom part of the window, we can follow the state of the files being downloaded with control buttons to retry or stop.

The figure bellow shows the buttons to control the download process. The first button requests the log listings from the system. This allows to update the available logs. The second button starts the download process of all the files from the sellected folders on the top left folders listing. The next does the same but for the selected files on the top right files listings.

The next two buttons with an eraser allows folders (the first button) and files (the following button) to be deleted on the remote system. These follows the same philosophy as the previous download buttons. This is usefull to free space in the system’s storage device.


Logs Downloader Controls

The next button with a white cross on a red hexagon serves to stop all current download operations.

The following button reveals the connection configurations for the download operations. The next figure shows those configurations. These configurations are normally automatically filled and for this reason serves mainly to check the configurations upon some problem.


Logs Downloader Config

The button with a green curly arrow serves as a hard reset of the interface. This makes a complete refresh os all the interface (not to be used on normal circunstances).

The next figure shows the meaning of the folders and file icons that are shown. This dialog is oppened by the last control buttons.

Logs Downloader Meaning of the Folders and File Icons
Symbols Description
fig_log_folder_new fig_log_file_new New log folder/file in the server.
fig_log_folder_down fig_log_file_down Log folder/file being downloaded from the server.
fig_log_folder_sync fig_log_file_sync Log folder/file in sync. with the server.
fig_log_folder_error fig_log_file_error Log folder/file with errors.
fig_log_folder_warn fig_log_file_warn Log folder/file incomplete.
fig_log_folder_local fig_log_file_local Log folder/file only local.
fig_log_folder_unknown fig_log_file_unknown Log folder/file on local disk but state unknown.

Finaly there is a label showing the available space on the remote system storage device. This label changes color from green to red as the free space is diminishing.

8.4.10. Main Vehicle Selector


Main System Selector

The Main Vehicle Selector provides two important functions :

  1. Lets the operator select a vehicle to control
  2. Informs the operator about the overall state of all connected vehicles

This selector provides an easy and centralized way to switch control between multiple vehicles. When the operator selects a main vehicle all other components are notified.

The operator can also watch the vehicle state with this selector, which vehicle has his state right beside the name. The vehicle state is described with a name and a color scheme associated with his critical level. The different vehicle states are :

CONNECTED (Level: Success)
Neptus connected to a vehicle
BOOT (Level: Information)
The vehicle is booting DUNE
SERVICE (Level: Success)
The vehicle is ready to start operations
CALIBRATION (Level: Information)
The vehicle is calibrating is sensors to start a plan
MANEUVER (Level: Warning)
The vehicle is executing a plan
ERROR (Level: Error)
The vehicle is in error
TELEOPERATION (Level: Warning)
The vehicle is being controled manualy
DISCONNECTED (Level: Warning)
Neptus lost WIFI comunications with the vehicle, this means the vehicle was turn off or is underwater
EXTERNAL (Level: Warning)
Non DUNE external controller operating the vehicle

The figure describes the color scheme and the critical levels.


Color Scheme

8.4.11. Mission Tree

This component shows the elements stored in the mission: the home reference, the beacons and the plans. It also allows to act upon each element.

The icons next to each element contains information about it (see table Element icons)s. Both plan and beacon use colored circles to show synchronization status.

Element icons
Icon Name Description
fig_home_ref Home reference The reference to center the map. Should correspond to operator location.
fig_beacon Beacon A beacon element.
fig_plan Plan A plan element.
fig_plan_synch Syncronized The element exists both in the console and the vehicle.
fig_plan_unSynch Unsynchronized The element’s id corresponds to a different definition in the console and in the vehicle.
fig_plan_remote Remote The element’s id only exists in the vehicle.
(white background) Local The element’s id only exists in the console.
fig_plan_acoustic Acoustic The plan can be sent underwater (has an id with just one letter)
fig_plus Multivehicle  

When in an underwater mission using transponders, next to the name of the transponder will appear the elapsed time since the last accepted range. This will turn from green to red if too much time has passed for safety. The Actions

All the available actions will be list by pressing the right mouse button. Some actions are always available while others are specific to element types or just need to have an element selected. To act upon an element select it with the left mouse button and then press the right mouse button. Reload Panel

Refresh the listing of elements in the mission tree. View/Edit elementA

Change any aspect of the location of elementA. Remove elementA

Remove elementA from the mission. If elementA happens to be a plan, it will stay in the mission tree with a purple circle showing that the vehicle still knows this plan. Switch beaconA with beaconB

Switch the configuration associated with the name beaconA to the name beaconB and vice-versa. This is useful when the operator notices that the beacons are inserted in the right location with switched the names. Add A New Transponder

Opens the dialog to insert a new beacon into the mission. Send planA to vehicleA

Send the selected plan to the main vehicle (vehicleA). Remove planA from vehicleA

Remove planA from the main vehicle (vehicleA). The vehicle will no longer know the plan but it will still be visible in the mission tree with no circle, showing that is a local plan. Get planA from vehicleA

Get the selected plan from the main vehicle (vehicleA) and into the console.

8.4.12. My Location

This operational console component attaches itself on the renderer 2D to draw the Neptus operator’s location. The icon drawn in the renderer is the following my_location_img. The arrow indicates the bearing of the operator. If the bearing is not known, the arrow will point north. This component relies on the MyState Neptus functionality. This my be fed by a GPS connected to Neptus. Depending on the age of the position, the quarter arcs on the side of the icon shows more or less arcs (four arcs means updated location).

By right click on the renderer you can select the My location menu (see the following figure). There are some controls on this popup. You can add the your current location to the map, copy it or force the substitution of your location (this is useful if no GPS is available).


My Location

8.4.13. Notifications


Notifications Overview

Neptus has a notification system to keep the operator informed about all the important events happening with the connected vehicles. When a important event happens a notification popup will appear at the bottom right corner of the console . The notification disapears after a few seconds with the exception of error events, to dismiss a error notification the operator needs to click the popup.


Notifications Example

The operator can also open the notifications log clicking the button at the right bottom corner, it opens a window with a list of the last notifications. There is also the option to clear the list and disable popups.


Notifications Log

8.4.14. Plan Control

Plan Control allows to interact with the vehicle by sending mission execution related messages. The panel is shown in the figure.


Plan Control panel. Send LBL Transponders Definitions Button

When this button is pressed the details of all the LBL transponders under Transponders on the mission tree will be sent to the main vehicle. Only after this is sent can the vehicles use the defined LBL transponders. The figure shows the symbol on the console.


Symbol of the synchronize LBL transponders button. Send Plan Button

When this button is pressed the selected plan (selection is made on Plans in the mission tree) will be sent to the main vehicle. The figure shows the symbol on the console.


Symbol of the synchronize plan button. Start/Stop Plan Buttons

When the start button is pressed the selected plan is sent to the main vehicle that will start to execute it. The figure shows the symbol on the console.


Symbol of the start plan button.

When the stop button is pressed the vehicle will stop executing whatever plan that was executing. The figure shows the symbol on the console.


Symbol of the stop plan button. Start/Stop Teleoperation Button

When the button is pressed the main vehicle will enter or leave teleoperation mode. If the vehicle is not in teleoperation mode, the button will look like the right part of the figure, if it is on teleoperation mode it will look like the left part of the figure. So this button is a toggle button that also indicate the teleoperation mode state.


Symbol of the start/stop views of the teleoperation toggle button.

8.4.15. Plan Control State

Plan Control allows to state of the plan execution, which plan is loaded/execution, and the maneuver of the mission plan the main vehicle is executing. The panel is shown in the figure.


Plan Control State panel.

Additionally some plan progress information may be seen the Notification area.

8.4.16. Plan Editor

The plan editor allows the creation and visualization of mission plans inside the operator console. This mode is activated by pressing the respective button in the map toolbar.


Entering Plan Editor map interaction mode

In the plan editing mode, an additional right side bar is presented to the user. From this side bar it is possible to see an overview of plan statistics, create, save and close plans, as well as access a list of parameters of the currently selected maneuver.

To create a new plan, the user should click the button “New” on the planning side bar. If there is a plan currently being edited, it must be closed and thus the user is prompted to save or discard any changes made to plan currently being edited. After making a decision, a new dialog is presented to the user where he can select the target vehicle for the new plan. This is used to allow adding to the plan only maneuvers which are compatible with the selected vehicle. Moreover the default parameter values of newly added maneuvers are set according to the vehicle chosen here.

After choosing the vehicle, a new (empty) plan is created. This empty plan is not valid as it doesn’t have any maneuvers.

To add maneuvers to the plan, the user must right click on the map (when in plan edition mode). If the clicked position corresponds to the position of a maneuver already in the plan, there will be options to add all compatible maneuvers either at the end of the plan (sequence of maneuvers) or before the currently selected maneuver. In the latter, the added maneuver will be added after the maneuver that precedes the clicked maneuver.


Right-clicking the map outside a maneuver (left) and intersecting a maneuver (right).

The added maneuvers will use the default parameters for the plan’s vehicle. The parameters of any maneuver can be set by selecting the maneuver in the map (clicking over it) and then using the planning side bar on the right which is always populated with the parameters of the currently selected maneuver.

Moreover, the user can add a maneuver which is similar to the previous one by pressing control and clicking anywhere on the map.

If several maneuvers are overlapped (same position in the map), each of this maneuvers can be selected by clicking one or more times over the position of those maneuvers. Each time the position is clicked, a new maneuver under that point will be selected (iterated).

Maneuvers that are parameterized by their location can be dragged in the map in which case, the user is actually changing the location parameter for that maneuver. The plan itself can be dragged on the map. For that, the user can drag any maneuver while pressing the CONTROL button.

Apart from editing the maneuvers by using the planning side bar, some maneuvers can also be edited directly on the map like FollowPath, FollowTrajectory, RowsManeuver and RIPattern. In the case of these maneuvers, the user can double click the maneuver to enter the map edition mode for that maneuver. Each maneuver has a specific map edition mode so please consult the maneuver-specific information in the Maneuvers section.


Console snapshot while in plan edition mode

To remove maneuvers that have already been added to the plan, the user can right-click a maneuver and the select Remove xxx where xxx is the name of the clicked maneuver as seen here. If the maneuver is not the last one, the maneuver that follows it, will become connected to the maneuver that precedes the deleted maneuver.

To facilitate plan edition, the user can also duplicate the plan’s last maneuver by clicking the map while pressing the CONTROL key. This will create a new maneuver in the clicked position that has same type and parameters as the last maneuver in the plan. Moreover, maneuvers can also be copied to the clipboard and pasted at the end of the plan. This is done via the right-click menu seen in this figure. Plan Settings

When the user right-clicks the map in the Plan Editor map interaction mode, it can also use the Plan Settings menu actions for settings that are common to all maneuvers in the plan:

  • Plan depth / altitude – will open a popup dialog where the user can select the depth or altitude to be set to all maneuvers in plan that have this parameter.
  • Plan speed – will open a popup dialog where the user can select the speed to be set to all maneuvers in plan that have this parameter. In this dialog the user can also choose the units to be used.
  • Payload settings – will open a popup dialog where the user can choose a common payload configuration to be used in the entire plan.
  • Set plan vehicles – for advanced users, the target vehicles for the current plan can be changed from here.


Note After a setting is applied to the entire plan it will be committed to ALL the maneuvers in the plan. However, the user can later change the same setting in one or several specific maneuvers.


Plan Settings menu actions are used for settings common to all maneuvers

8.4.17. LogBook History

This operational console component allows the visualization the vehicle low level log output. The next figure depicts this panel.


LogBook History Popup window


Note Please note that these messages are low level logs and normally you don’t need to look at them very often.

By opening the Remote History dialog the vehicle low level messages can be observed. The coloring of the entries varies according to the importance of the information. Red for highest importance (errors) yellow for medium importance (warnings) and green for low importance (information).

8.4.18. Simulation Utilities

Neptus operator console provides a range of simulation utilities that help the user predict and understand how a plan is executed by the vehicle. Automatic plan execution preview

Whenever a vehicle is executing a plan, the console’s simulator executes the same plan in the background. This is done so that, whenever the vehicle becomes disconnected, the simulated position of the vehicle becomes visible to the user. This is of special interest when the vehicle executes missions underwater, with no connectivity to the surface.


Note Be aware that the simulator calculates what the vehicle does with no outside disturbances such as currents, actuator malfunctions or obstacles. The actual state of the vehicle usually differs from the one shown in the simulator.

When the vehicle stops reporting its state, the simulated vehicle position is shown as gray arrow on the map. The simulated depth is also shown next to the vehicle’s name.


Simulated vehicle position while real vehicle is submerged Plan execution preview

Neptus also provides a simulation map interaction mode where the user can simulate any of the plans available in the console (independently of what the real vehicle is currently doing).

To enter this interaction mode, the user must select the Plan Simulation interaction mode.


Entering Plan Simulation mode

In the Plan Simulation map interaction mode, the user may select to simulate the currently selected plan by right-clicking a point in the map and choosing the option Simulate from here. This will generate the path the vehicle should exhibit when executing the plan starting from the clicked position.

The path is represented as a series of colored dots. The color of the dots varies from green to red and is related to the amount of energy available at that point in the mission. The initial amount of energy corresponds to the last battery state received from the vehicle.


Right-click menu from where plan execution can be simulated

As soon as the execution preview starts, the vehicle simulated position is shown to the user. To advance in the simulation, the user can right-click anywhere near another simulated state (colored dot) and choose the option Locate simulator here. This will resume simulation from there. Simulated bathymetry and payloads

A useful feature of the Plan Simulation interaction mode is to display in the map the areas covered by the sensor payloads, as configured in the plan. The covered area varies according to the payload configuration, the vehicle’s trajectory and the depth of the ocean’s floor.

The payload footprints are shown as different color bars overlayed on the map. Yellow bars represent sidescan sonar sensor coverage and blue bars represent multi-bean sidescan sonar sensor coverage. Only in the maneuvers where a payload has been explicitly activated it will be calculated and shown in the map.

In order to simulate the bathymetry of the ocean floor, this interaction mode also allows the user to enter a number of depth soundings. For this, the user must click a point in the map and then select the option Simulated Bathymetry–>Add depth sounding.


Adding of simulated depth soundings

8.4.19. Systems Configuration

The system configuration holds the vehicle internal configurations parameters. Its store in Neptus, and holds default values. These default values may not match the current vehicle values (see sec_systems_configuration).

There are four levels of access: Global, Idle, Plan (configurable in a plan), and Maneuver (configurable in the maneuver in a plan).

The figure Systems Configuration depicts the interface.


Systems Configuration

The buttons have the following funcionalities:

  • Send (send to vehicle, if not saved on vehicle reboot they will be reset)
  • Refresh (synchronize with the vehicle)
  • Save (saves in the vehicle, this will make the vehicle on reboot to use these values)
  • Reset (put the default values, needs to be sent to vehicle)

The color codes that aperar associated wit every parameter value have the following meaning:

  • Red (different from the vehicle)
  • Green (the same as the vehicle)


Warning Remember to get the values from the vehicle to be sure that they are in sync.


Warning Changing advanced settings may result in an inoperable vehicle.

8.4.20. Systems List

The Systems List shows the known systems and it’s summary state (the filter may hide some systems from the list).


Systems List Panel

The next figure depicts some of the states each system can present. The state is presented by the background color and symbols.


Systems List Colors

System List Background Color Codes
Color Description
Cyan When there is connectivity and no errors.
Dark Blue When there doesn’t exist connectivity and there were no errors.
Orange When there is connectivity and there are errors.
Red When there doesn’t exist connectivity and there were errors.
Grey When the system is not being directly followed and the indications are by the state of the icons only. (Less distractive this way.)

There is also the border color (see following figure). In this case there are three colors: grey (with no meaning); green (means that the system is the main system in the operational console, also the main system symbol is active); and orange (means the system is selected, this color over imposes on the green color for the main system).


Systems List Selection Colors


Warning The selection option is not available in all Neptus distributions. The availability depends on the purpose of use.

The next figure shows the info shown in each system box state: collapsed or extended. In the collapsed format only the system image, name and symbols state indicators are shown (as seen in figure on the left). The meaning of the symbols will be explained bellow. In the extended format, along the state symbols, is shown textual information of the state (with additional information that is not shown in the state symbols).


Systems List Collapse and Extended

You can notice on the top right a square box with white borders. This, when available, allows the change of the color that the system will be drawn with on the map.

The following tables explains the state symbols. Some of these symbols can have attached actions that allow changing the state of it. This is seen by the drawing of a border around the symbol when passing the mouse on top of them. In these symbols, their actions can be trigged by right click on top of them.

System List Symbology Description (Connectivity)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_c0 fig_sys_c1 fig_sys_c2 fig_sys_c3 fig_sys_c4 fig_sys_c5

This symbol indicates connectivity to the system.

The first indicates no connectivity. The next four symbols indicates increase connectivity to the system. The indicator decreases the connectivity indication if no messages for more than: 11s (the no connectivity symbol is shown); 10s (one dot symbol); 7s (one dot plus one arc); 4s (one dot plus two arcs); and 0s to 4s (one dot plus three arcs) which mean normal connectivity.

The last picture has a special meaning. The ‘A’ letter may appear in any of the state of the connection indicator. If present indicates that despite no messages are being received by the normal channels, the special announce channel is receiving messages. This is the channel used for multicast of the systems announce message. This message is used to advertise each system communication channels, services, and identification.

System List Symbology Description (Location)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_loc0 fig_sys_loc1 This symbol indicates if the location of a system is known. The first indicates that the location is not known for more than 10s. The second indicates the location is known.
System List Symbology Description (Console Main System)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_main This symbol indicates that the system is the operational console main system.
System List Symbology Description (Authority)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_auth0 fig_sys_auth1 fig_sys_auth2

These symbols sets the authority (locally).

The first symbol, with a hat, indicate that you want to pay attention more closely of what they are doing. The symbol means full authority.

The systems with these authorities have the more information shown to the operator. The main system has always a full authority.

The symbol with a full circle (without the hat) means none authority. These systems are not of main focus for the operator but their location is important.

The symbol with a full circle, a hat, and a cross on top means off. By marking a system with this authority, the operator is marking a no interest in the system. Neptus will drop all messages (except the general announce message) from that system, also no messages will go out to it.

System List Symbology Description (Executing a Plan)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_task When present, means that the vehicle is executing a mission plan.
System List Symbology Description (Error State)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_alert When this symbol is visible, means that is something wrong with the system and requires attention. This symbol matches the background colors for errors mentioned above.
System List Symbology Description (Type of System)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_t0 fig_sys_t1 fig_sys_t2 fig_sys_t3 fig_sys_t4 fig_sys_t5 fig_sys_t6 fig_sys_t7

This symbol indicates the type of system.

The first with ‘?’ indicates that the type is unknown.

Next indicates a UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) that can also be represented by the text form if configured. The next represents a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or also by the text form. Next represents a USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) or also by the text form. The following represents UGV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle) or also by the text form. The CCU (Command and Control Unit) is represented by a laptop or also by the text form.

The final two represent sensors: mobile sensors (MS) or stationary sensor (SS).

System List Symbology Description (Two or More Instance Sources)
Symbols Description

If this symbol is shown that means the the data received for the system is arriving from two or more instance sources. This warning must be dealt with immediately.

One must notice that in case a system is restarted and in consequence of this the instance id changes. In this case this indication appears in an transient manner.

System List Symbology Description (Fuel Level)
Symbols Description
fig_sys_fl0 fig_sys_fl1 fig_sys_fl2 This symbol indicates the fuel level of the vehicle. If a ‘?’ character appears it means that there is no updated info and the info shown is the last known. If ‘!’ appears means that the fuel level is at 10%.

There are also some control buttons that can be used to change the behavior of this component. The next figure depicts those control buttons.


Systems List Controls

The first button opens the component configuration that is depicted in the figure bellow.

  • Systems Icons Size and System Indicator Icons Size: Configures the state symbols size for the system box (the first) or the OSD (on screen display) balloon.
  • Main System Icon Size Increment: Configures the increment in size for the system box for the operational console main system.
  • Show System Symbol Or Text: Configures if for the system type symbol will use the picture symbol or the text version.
  • System Class Filter: This is the filter. This filter will show in the list only the system that match the filter. The choices are VEHICLE, CCU, STATICSENSOR, MOBILESENSOR, and ALL.
  • System Vehicle Class Subtype Filter: In case the previous filter is VEHICLE, can filter by subtype. The choices are UUV, USV, UGV, UAV, and ALL.
  • Systems Ordering: This configures if the systems should be shown UNSORTED or SORTED
  • Show System With Authority Equal Or Above: This configures if the systems should be shown dependent on the Authority State.
  • Systems Ordering Option: This configures the ordering type. The choices are ID, ID_AUTHORITY, and ID_AUTHORITY_MAIN
  • Enable Selection: Configures if system selection is active or not
  • Renderer Icons Size: Configures the system symbols size for the renderer
  • Show Systems Icons That Are Filtered Out: If true, if this component will show systems icons on renderer that were filtered out. Option to show system icons has to be enabled
  • Show External Systems Icons: If true, if this component will show external systems icons on renderer. Option to show system icons has to be enabled.
  • Minimum Speed To Be Stopped: Configures the maximum speed (m/s) for the system to be considered stopped (affects the drawing of the course/speed vector on the renderer)
  • Draw System Label: Configures if this component will draw the system label on the renderer
  • Use Mil Std 2525 Like Symbols: This configures if the location symbols to draw on the renderer will use the MIL-STD-2525 standard
  • Mil Std 2525 Symbols Filled Or Not: This configures if the symbol is to be filled or not.
  • Minutes To Hide Systems Without Known Location: Minutes after which systems disappear from render if inactive (0 to disable)
  • Draw Circle Around System Icon In Render Dependent Of System Type: This configures if the circle around the symbol in render is to be drawn dependent of system type

The second (fig_sys_selection_clear) and third (fig_sys_selection_redo) buttons are related with the selection features. The first clears the selections and the other redo the last selections.

Next there are three buttons with an eye (fig_sys_view_info, fig_sys_view_extra, fig_sys_view_symbol). The first two have blue balloons. The one with an ‘i’ activates the OSD info balloon on the renderer (figure bellow on the left). This will be similar with the collapse system box display. The one with an ‘e’ activates the extended OSD info balloon on the renderer (figure bellow on the right). this is similar with the extended system box display.


Systems Info Balloon on Render

The button with an eye and a yellow square enables the drawing of the location system icon on the renderer (the renderer itself may draw an icon of its own, see the configuration on how to disable it). This system icon can be seen in the following figure.


Systems List System Icon on Render

In the configuration description above, there is one that can enable the use the MIL-STD-2525 standard symbology. This does not completely implements the standard but uses it’s notions. On the figure bellow you can see the symbols used. (Note that for best display you should disable the renderer to draw the own’s system icon, as explained in the configuration section above.)


Systems List MIL-STD-2525 System Icon on Render

If the Draw Circle Around System Icon In Render Dependent Of System Type is ticked in the configuration, instead of a circle around the icon, something similar to the border used to differentiate the system type for MIL-STD-2525.

The filter button (fig_sys_filter) activates or deactivates the filter set (explained in the configurations). If disabled all the systems will be shown.

The blue double arrows (fig_sys_expand, fig_sys_retreat) are for putting all systems boxes to the extended format information (the button with the arrows pointing down). The other puts all the systems boxes to the collapse format.

One of the important functionalities of this component is the choice or change of the operational console main system. To operate such a change one can mouse click on the system box of choice while pressing the Ctrl button.

To make one system active/deactivate on the console (authority none), one can mouse click on the system box of choice while pressing the Ctrl+Alt buttons. Systems Colors Drawing on the Map

As mentioned earlier, the systems’ locations will be drawn on the map (these will be affected by the filters that are applied).

The main system will always use a green (RGB: 0, 255, 64) color (so avoid this colors when choosing color for the systems). If not the main system and on the systems list, if available, the system color will be used, if not white.

For systems not on the systems list will be drawn with the color khaki (RGB: 210, 176, 106).

For external systems the color to use is plum red (RGB: 255, 0, 255). External systems are systems that are known to Neptus indirectly.


Warning External systems arrive to Neptus from sources that depend on the distribution configuration. So not all installations will have this available.

8.5. MRA Components

8.5.1. Mission Replay

The Mission Replay component is composed primarily of a Map component very similar to the one present in the Operation Console and a timeline. It is possible to replay in real time or accelerated mode the whole plan and visualize either the results being dynamically constucted or their final form.


MRA view with Mission Replay visualization open Timeline bar

The timeline bar contains the following buttons:

  • Play/Pause
  • Speed Up and Down

The current UTC time of the log and current play speed (currently ranging from 1x to 16x) are present on the end. Replay Layers

Depending on the data present on the current log several layers will be available to the user to visualize during replay. Some of them will be always present (e.g Estimated State information), and some will not (e.g LBL Ranging information and Bathymetry)

The dialog used to configure the visible layers is reached by: Right Click -> ‘Choose Visible Layers’


Visible layers dialog

In the above figure you can see that computationaly expensive layers are not visible by default (e.g Bathymetry layer) so that the operator isn’t forced to wait for the computations to end to see ‘lighter’ data.

8.5.2. Logbook Visualization

LogBook visualization is a simple colored list of the output of a system during the execution of a plan.

Color-coded by:

  • Green - Info
  • Yellow - Warning
  • Red - Error

It is also ordered by timestamp.


8.5.3. Photo Visualization

The Photo Visualization component is used to analyze and do simple manipulations or visualization enhancements to a collection of photos. This photos should be present in the root folder of the currently open log.


MRA view with Photos Visualization component. In this picture the position HUD and photo information can be seen.

This component is composed simply of a photo panel which may or may not be displaying photo information, and a bottom toolbar comprised of Timeline bar and Photo Manipulation bar.

When right clicking the photo panel, three options appear:

  • Add Marker - Add a log marker at the time of this photo.
  • Save Image - Save the current image (manipulation included) to a file external to the log.
  • Export Video - Export a MPEG-4 video with all the photos (manipulation included). Timeline bar

The timeline bar contains the following buttons:

  • Play/Pause
  • Speed Up and Down

The current UTC time of the log and current play speed (currently ranging from 1x to 16x) are present on the end. The markers for this log will be shown as vertical lines in the timeline. Photo Manipulation toolbar

Next to the simulation toolbar exists a row of buttons used to manipulate the photos and fine-tune the visualization. Note that some of these manipulations can be computationaly intensive and may reduce the speed of playback.

The current manipulations supported are:

  • G rayscale - the photos will be displayed in grayscale format.
  • B rightness filter - Activate brightness filter.
  • S harpen filter - Activate Sharpen filter making photos sharper with crispier edges.
  • C ontrast enhancement - Enhance the contrast of the photo.
  • W hite Balance - Activate White Balance filter. A color must be chosen from the dialog (idealy the color of a known white object).
  • L egend - Activate/Deactivate Position and Info Legend.
  • ‘<’ and ‘>’ - Forward/Backwards one photo at a time.

8.5.4. Sidescan Analyzer

Neptus MRA contains a Sidescan Data Analyzer supporting multiple file formats. For every different simultaneous channel there is a ‘cascade’ display for the data, configurable independenntly.

It currently supports the following features:

  • Multiple simultaneous data channels
  • Cascade annotation that will be available to all the other visualizations
  • Zooming and Measuring
  • Per beam information
  • Colormap customization
  • TVG and normalization
  • Vehicle position HUD
  • MPEG record capability of the data replay.

MRA view with Sidescan Analyzer visualization open Top Toolbar

The top toolbar contains the following buttons:

Cliking with left mouse button will produce a zoomed version of this area on the lower right side of that channel display. Maintains the zoomed picture as long as the mouse button is pressed.
Clicking with left mouse button will display in the top left corner of that channel, information relative to the swath and beam the mouse is pointing to.
Left mouse button is used to drag a box around an area and the user is prompted for a Mark name. When no name is given that marked is not added to the log.
First left mouse button click will put a single green pointer on the display. Following clicks will put further marks and calculate this distance between the pointers. Timeline bar

The timeline bar contains the following buttons:

  • Play/Pause
  • Speed Up and Down

Additionally the markers are drawn on the timeline itself to signal their occurences. The current UTC time of the log and current play speed (currently ranging from 1x to 16x) are present on the end. Channel Configuration

Every channel can be configured through the ‘Config’ button. The configuration panel looks like the following picture


Channel configuration dialog.

The different options are:

Enable/Disable Speed correction for the data. Only works if data contains velocity associated to the swaths.
Enable/Disable TVG correction.
The colormap used for this channel. Default to ‘Bronze’ colormap.
Normalization and Time Variable Gain factors.
Enables/Disables the path and position of the vehicle on bottom left corner.
Position HUD display size.
Position HUD path coloring.

8.5.5. Table Visualization

Table visualization is a way to show message specific data organized by field.

To open a new table visualization:

  • Switch to ‘Messages’ tab.
  • Right click a message name ( Do not open the node ).
  • Click the ‘Show ... Data’ option.

A new table visualization just like the following figure is added to the MRA.


New Table for the Depth message. By default it is ordered by timestamp.

Note that this visualization can be accessed through the visualizations tab under de ‘Tables’ node of the tree.

8.5.6. Time-series Plots

Time-series Plots are a component allowing the visualization of any number of system variables with reference to the plan time.

When opening a log in MRA there is a set of default plots available to you as seen on the following picture. All plots will be inside the ‘Charts’ node in the log tree.


Typical list of default plots. Not all of this must be time-series plots.

Note that plot availability is based on the log charateristics and data present in the log itself.

You may also have custom time-series plots based on any vehicle data present in the log. To build one you do:

  • Switch to ‘Messages’ tab
  • Select any number of variables (variables can be any field on a message). Multi selection works with ‘Ctrl’ pressed.
  • Keeping ‘Ctrl’ pressed do a right click.

The context menu should look like this:


Creating a new plot for the variable ‘value’ of message ‘Depth’

Timeline plot
Combines a timeseries plot wit a timeline.
Plot Data/Plot Data on new window
Creates a data plot with the selected variables on MRA (or on a separate window).
Plot Colormap
Special plot where the variable is plotted on a XY Axis using a colormap. Timeserie Component

The component itself has the following features:

  • Change timestep (in milliseconds)
  • Select which series to be visualized
  • Mark the plot with a time annotation that will be shared over all plots.

Z plot open in MRA. You can see in the bottom the control bar for timestep changes and series selection.

To zoom in on the plot you drag a rectangle over the desired area beginning on the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner. To zoom out you do the opposite, drag from bottom-right to top-left corner. Note that zooming out instantly sets the plot to fit the screen.

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