A new sediment sounder has been developed to acquire data on the continental shelf (depths of 20 to 200m). This equipment is fitted in a scanfish and can be implemented on Ifremer coastal vessels or other available ships. The new sounder will enable data to be acquired in new areas in addition to those currently covered by Haliotis (1-20m) and deep-sea vessels (up to depths of over 3000m). Together, Ifremer’s sediment sounders will make up a fleet of uniform equipment based on the SUBOP acquisition system (also used for the sparker).
From a systems architecture point of view, a single transducer transmits and receives acoustic signals. The acquisition PC and the rack for the power electronics, impedance matching, active switching, and the signal preamplification stage are on board the vessel. The chief innovative aspect of the sounder is its compact PWM electronics, based on those of the AUV sediment sounder.
Sea trials of the full system were conducted on the Thalia in November 2011 and May 2012. The results were very positive, both for the sounder and in terms of implementation and hydrodynamics, with effective operational equipment expected in 2013.
Sea trials on Thalia (nov. 2011)