Sub-bottom profiler

The SBP27 is the next-generation narrow beam, multibeam sub-bottom profiler, and is the successor of the SBP120 and SBP300. The system has new and improved technology, a wider bandwidth (2 to 9 kHz) and accordingly improved range resolution.

Enhanced sub-bottom imaging capabilities

The SBP27 has significantly reduced beam widths compared to conventional sub-bottom profilers. This is obtained by one linear transmitter array mounted along the vessel keel, and one linear hydrophone array (shared with the EM122/302) mounted orthogonal to the keel. The footprint of the transmitter array is wide across-track and narrow along-track, whereas the opposite is the case for the receiver array. The combined beam pattern of the two arrays is a narrow beam.

Advanced multibeam capability

The SBP27's multibeam capability is particularly useful in challenging conditions. It is adept at finding the specular return(s) in rough terrain despite its narrow beams, resolving lateral specular returns, detecting buried objects, and obtaining information about the sloping angle of sediments with a significant degree of accuracy. Its beams are electronically stabilized for roll and pitch to ensure clear imaging, while the data are heave compensated for consistency across varying sea conditions.

Array geometry and receptive quality

The array geometry of the SBP27 mirrors that is used by the EM multibeam echo sounders, utilizing the same wideband receive antenna. With much narrower beam widths than conventional sub-bottom profilers, the SBP27 provides a superior specular return-to-backscatter ratio, achieving a composite echogram that yields high-quality acoustic imaging. The system has several advantages when encountering sloping sediments and is capable of scanning the volume by cyclically tilting the TX beam to collect the best combination of data in a single echogram.

Key features

  • Operated in parallel with the EM 122 or EM 302 multibeam echo sounder
  • High source level
  • Narrow beams for improved penetration, cleaner data, and excellent angular resolution
  • Capability to create wider beams as needed, with a swath of beams generated per ping for acrosstrack slope robustness and detection of buried objects, useful for backscatter studies
  • Transmit modes with TX tilting and TX beam width variation for situations where narrow beams are unfavourable
  • Composite echogram feature
  • Burst and multi-pulse modes to maintain a high ping rate in deep waters
  • Normal transmit waveform is a linear chirp, with start and stop frequencies ranging from 2 to 9 kHz for a maximum vertical resolution of approximately 0.2 milliseconds
  • For the SBP 27, the bandpass filter of the preamplifier attenuates frequencies above 7 kHz


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