Kongsberg Discovery Unveils Sub-Bottom Profiling Tool

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Norwegian ocean science technology provider Kongsberg Discovery has introduced EM®SBP software system, which offers sub-bottom profiling capability for Kongsberg’s deep-water multi beam echo sounder (MBES) systems EM 124 and EM 304, without the need for additional hardware.

A sub-bottom profiling system complements MBES surveys tailored to map the seabed and sub-seafloor.

Gathering sub-bottom data is necessary to understand sediment thickness and distribution, as well as for detecting buried objects or infrastructure, such as boulders or pipelines.

A sub-bottom signal must have specific properties and be customized for the sub-bottom purpose.

Traditionally, this has required equipment that is often quite large, especially for the most powerful systems that can penetrate sediment in very deep water.

EM®SBP offers sub-bottom profiling capability without the need for any dedicated transducers or cabinet of electronics, according to Kongsberg Discovery.

That means no additional hardware beyond what is used for the EM 124 or EM 304 MBES systems – which is in most cases already available on board the vessel. This capability saves cost, space, complexity, and power consumption, the company claims.

The installation comprises only a computer and the software. The application can be used as necessary, also with flexible sub-bottom versus bathymetry coverage depending on project requirements.

Essentially, the EM®SBP software ‘borrows’ the EM 124/304 hardware to transmit the downward-looking sub-bottom signals at a given interval. The sequence of sub-bottom versus multibeam signals, or pings, is user selectable.

The EM®SBP software configures the sub-bottom transmit and receive parameters, picks up the returned echoes, and processes the data to create sub-bottom images that are visualized and logged to file.

The performance of the sub-bottom data depends on the applied MBES frequency range and configuration. EM®SBP generates sub-bottom signals from the primary multibeam frequencies, as well as parametric low-frequency signals. The software handles, processes and images the primary and parametric signals simultaneously.

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