By: Chris Bueley, AML Oceanographic
By: Sarah Pilkington, Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.
Underwater surveys, obstacle detection, and harbor security inspections are only a few of the applications challenged by high currents, lack of visibility, and other subsea hazards. For over 40 years, Kongsberg Mesotech acoustic systems have been successfully used worldwide to augment diver inspections and underwater visualization operations. The use of multibeam technology enables faster operations than traditional scanning sonar and provides a large coverage area for data acquisition and a real-time data display. Kongsberg Mesotech’s M3 Sonar can be used for both imaging and profiling applications. The M3 Sonar delivers high-resolution and easy-to-interpret images by combining the rapid refresh rate of conventional multibeam sonar with image quality comparable to scanning sonar and is suitable for a variety of deployment platforms, including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), pole mounted on a vessel, or mounted on a tripod. Exclusive to the M3 Sonar is the multimode capability that, in addition to standard imaging and profiling, features a unique enhanced image quality (eIQ) mode designed to provide image quality comparable to high-resolution scanning sonars. With four pre-defined operating modes, the M3 Sonar delivers application capability not found in any other system. Operating Modes 1. Imaging: long-range navigation with a fast update rate 2. Enhanced Image Quality (eIQ): greatest image quality from a short range with a slightly slower update rate 3. ROV Navigation: automatically selects eIQ or imaging based on range 4. Profiling: optimized split beam profiling for bathymetric surveys.