Multibeam echo sounders (MBES) are widely used in applications like seafloor imaging, fisheries, and habitat mapping. Calibration of acoustic backscatter is an important aspect of understanding and validating the performance of a MBES. Combined transmit/receive beampattern calibrations were performed on a 200 kHz Reson Seabat 7125 MBES in the acoustic tank of the University of New Hampshire utilizing two different methodologies. The first methodology employs fixed standard target spheres and a high accuracy/high resolution rotation mechanism. This method, similar to that proposed by Foote et al ["Protocols forcalibrating multibeam sonar", J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 117(4), 2005], is designed for a calibrationtank and provides accurate results but requires a large amount of operation time and cannot be performed in situ. The second methodology has been designed for field calibration of MBES. It employs a standard target sphere and a 200 kHz Simrad EK60 split-beam sonar system to provide athwartship and alongship angular information of the target sphere position. This method offers the possibility of field calibration for vessel mounted systems and a significantly reduced operation time, but has a potential reduction in accuracy. In this paper, results from these two methods applied to the same MBES are compared.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

European Conference on Underwater Acoustics

Conference Date

July 2 - July 6, 2012

Publisher Place

Edinburgh, Scotland



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type

Conference Proceeding