A fully transportable Sea Beam complex acoustic data acquisition system


Although bathymetric contour mapping is the primary function of the Sea Beam bathymetric survey system, its multi- narrowbeam characteristics (2°213 angular resolution) make it a potentially important tool for seafloor acoustic backscattering studies. For such studies, it is necessary to preserve both the amplitude and the phase of the echo signals so as to be able to remove the sidelobe interference inherent in the multibeam geometry. As no provisions exist within the Sea Beam system to preserve the acoustic signals received, a parallel acoustic data acquisition system is needed to record the acoustic data. This paper describes such a data acquisition system which has been designed and built at the Marine Physical Laboratory of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to record the in-phase and quadrature components of complex echo signals received by Sea Beam. This data acquisition system is fully transportable and is adaptable to all ships equipped with Sea Beam. It has been used successfully aboard the R/V Thomas Washington and the French Oceanographic Vessel Jean Charcot.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC)





Conference Date

May 2 - May 5, 1987

Publisher Place

Houston, TX, USA


Offshore Technology Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding