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A 3D side scan image is generated ping by ping just as images are generated for 2D side scan, however backscatter is also tracked in elevation angle with multiple concurrent arrival angles being tracked simultaneously and independently. The 3D side scan image is called a point cloud and is geometrically correct version of a standard 2D side scan image.
Structures such as shipwrecks, bridge abutments, dam faces, and other underwater objects can be imaged using both standard side scan and 3D side scan output from the 3DSS sonar. The 3D side scan point cloud image can be rotated and manipulated to provide 3D views of object geometry in side scan imaging detail.