What Is a Multibeam Echo Sounder and Its Advantages?

How does a multibeam survey work? A multibeam echosounder installed on a boat sends out a broad array of beams over the bottom of a “swath” of water. Data is gathered and assessed as the beams return to the surface from the ocean’s depths. During the survey, the processed data may be shown in real-time on a computer screen.


Multibeam Echo Sounder and Its Uses

Let’s have a look at what multibeam echo sounders are and how they may be used to aid with subsea surveys.


Basic Operation

Multibeam sonar sensors are multidirectional sound emitters and receivers. When an electrical signal is sent, it is converted to an acoustic pulse, then converted back to an electrical signal when received. 


You may click on the “call us” button on a website of a trusted supplier to know how survey companies are using echosounders.


Multibeam Bathymetry

The concept behind multiple-beam bathymetry is that more rays are better than one. Some 30 years ago, the US Navy invented a device that could send out many sound beams at the same time to gather a series of water depth measurements along the course of a moving warship.

Bathymetric Process

Bathymetric measurements are taken with the use of echo sounders. An echo sounder is a device that sends sound pulses from a ship’s hull or bottom to the ocean floor. The boat is hit by a sound wave that rebounds back at it. The topography of the bottom is determined by the time it takes for the pulse to depart and return to the ship.


Purpose of Bathymetry

Bathymetric or hydrographic maps are made to aid safe surface or subsurface navigation. To depict seafloor landscape or topography, contour lines and depths are often utilized. They give surface navigational information from the seafloor. The sonar for marine enables faster, cleaner, and more accurate data for under the sea building project.


Ocean Floor Topography

The study of the floor of water bodies, including oceans, rivers, streams, and lakes, is known as bathymetry. Bathymetry was first used to describe the depth of the water above sea level. Despite this, it is currently termed “submarine topography,” which refers to the depths and forms of undersea terrain rather than the depth of the ocean.


Satellite Altimetry

Satellites can determine the distance between themselves and the ocean surface to 0.03 meters using thousands of radar pulses per second. Make a rough outline of an ocean basin to serve as a reference.


Seafloor Mapping

The depth of water in a body of water may be measured via seafloor mapping, sometimes called seabed imaging. Sonar and Lidar devices, buoys, and satellite altimetry are all used to estimate the ocean’s depth.


Make sure to contact trusted vendors, such as R2Sonic, for your bathymetric survey equipment needs. To check their products, go to their “contact us” page.



Multibeam echo sounders use a fan of small acoustic beams to scan the seabed, allowing them to cover the whole bottom with complete coverage. When compared to single-beam mapping, the resulting seabed maps have a higher level of detail. The maps are also created more quickly, reducing the time spent doing ship surveys.