Multibeam echo sounders produce high quality bathymetric data, however, for acoustic imaging their alongtrack beamwidth is much wider than what is used on conventional sidescan sonars, so the imagery produced by sidescan sonars are of a better quality and are often preferred. A hullmounted combination instrument package that integrates both the accurate multibeam bathymetry and the high resolution sidescan imagery is an attractive and relatively low cost solution for detailed surveys of harbors, canals, rivers and other shallow areas. Especially in these shallow water areas the sidescan sonar benefits from being hull mounted rather than towed, since this arrangement is easier and safer to handle and the sensor position is known with high accuracy. The paper addresses how the backscatter from the hull-mounted sidescan sonar system can be radiometrically and geometrically corrected, by using the bathymetry from the multibeam echo sounder, and how the 2 data sets can be presented together in 2D and 3D. A practical experiment is described, whereby EM 3002D multibeam echo sounder and a hull mounted EA 400 sidescan sonar system are mounted together and deployed over the bow of a small survey launch. The co-registered data sets are analyzed using the UNH GEOCODER processing scheme, and the results are presented and interpreted in terms of capability to resolve small objects. A comparison is made between the EA 400 sidescan backscatter and the EM 3002D seabed imagery.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

U.S. Hydrographic Conference

Conference Date

May 14 - May 18, 2007

Publisher Place

Norfolk, VA, USA


Hydrographic Society of America

Document Type

Conference Proceeding