Multibeam echosounders

Ranked #47 on the list Best Measuring Instrument of All Time

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About Multibeam echosounders

  • Dimension measured:
  • Subclasses: SeaBeam
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Multibeam echosounders, also known as Swathe (British English) or Swath (American English) echosounders, originated in the late 1950s, originally for military applications. They were developed in the 1970s by the US Navy, in conjunction with General Instrument to map large swaths of the ocean floor to assist the underwater navigation of its submarine force. Starting in the 1970s, companies such as General Instrument (now SeaBeam Instruments, part of L3 Klein) in the United States, Krupp Atlas (now Atlas Hydrographic) and Elac Nautik (now part of L3 Communications) in Germany, Simrad (now Kongsberg Maritime) in Norway and RESON in Denmark developed systems that could be mounted to the hull of large ships, and then small boats (as technologies improved and operating frequencies increased). The first commercial multibeam is now known as the SeaBeam Classic and was put in service in May 1977 (Harold Farr, Marine Geodesy, Volume 4, Issue 2 1980, pages 77 – 93) on the Australian survey vessel HMAS Cook. This system produced up to 16 beams across a 45-degree swath. The second SeaBeam Classic installation was on the French Research Vessel Jean Charcot sometime after the Cook. The SB

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