Side Scan Sonar

The Side Scan Sonar provides a photographic-like presentation of the marine bottom, hence permitting the observation of the conditions of navigation channels, the determination of the best route for marine cables and pipelines, the location of outcrops and submerged objects such as ship-wrecks, etc.

The basic system consists of a Side Scan Sonar Tow Fish, a Towing Cable, and a Graphic Recorder. The Side Scan Sonar (SSS) Tow Fish contains the transmitting circuitry to energize transducers, which project high intensity, high frequency bursts of acoustic energy in fan-shaped beams, which are narrow in the horizontal plane and wide in the vertical plane. These sound beams project along the sea bed on both sides of the moving vessel. Objects or topographic features on the seabed produce echoes, which are received by the transducers. Echoes are received and amplified and sent up the Tow cable to the Graphic Recorder located on a ship. The data is also tape recorded for future processing.

The system has widespread applications on oceans, inland lakes, rivers, harbors and canals. The method is used for geological study, sand ripple study, bathymetry & hydrography, mineral search, cable and pipeline location (SSS for exposed and SBP for buried), Engineering surveys, dredging, wreck location & general searching, underwater archaeology, gas seeps, military applications, iceberg scour mapping, fisheries applications etc.