Surveys & Wrecks  
  Hydrographic Products  
     •   Survey Data  
     •   Wrecks and Obstructions  
  Standards and Requirements  
     •   Field Procedures Manual  
     •   Specifications and Deliverables  
     •   XML Hydrographic Reports  
     •   Hydrographic Survey Manual  
     •   IHO Standards  
     •   Survey Vessels  
     •   Hydrographic Survey Priorities  
     •   Contract Hydrographic Surveys  
  Learn About Hydrography  
     •   What is Hydrographic Surveying?  
     •   History of Hydrographic Surveying  
     •   Side Scan Sonar  
     •   Multibeam Echo Sounders  
     •   LIDAR  
     •   Horizontal & Vertical Positioning  
     •   Dangers to Navigation: Notice to Mariners  

Field Procedures Manual
NOAA Ship Rainier survey launch RA-4 alongside ship.  Crew person on bow hooking davit block to shackle on launch.

Download the Field Procedures Manual, April 2014 edition (PDF)

The Field Procedures Manual provides best practices and standard operating procedures for field units conducting, processing, and generating hydrographic survey deliverables. These guidelines will help field units meet the specifications delineated in the NOS Hydrographic Surveys Specifications and Deliverables.


  • System preparation and maintenance, including annual readiness review and periodic quality assurance of hardware and software systems
  • Survey planning, including safety considerations and project instructions
  • Data acquisition, including sonar, horizontal and vertical control, and ancillary data
  • Data analysis, including software configuration and standard processing steps
  • Data management, including storage and security
  • Final field deliverables, including digital and analog data and project reports

The manual is a valuable resource and reference document for field hydrographers, technicians, coxswains, officers, and all others involved in hydrographic survey fieldwork.

Mention of a commercial company or product does not constitute an endorsement by NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey. Use of information from this publication concerning proprietary products, or the tests of such products, for publicity or advertising purposes, is prohibited.

Please suggest Field Procedures Manual changes or submit comments here.


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