Parametric sub-bottom profiler

TOPAS PS40 is designed for sub-bottom profiling with very high spatial resolution in water depths from less than 4 metres to >2,000 metres. The +80% relative bandwidth, low frequency signal is generated in the water column by non-linear interaction between two high frequency signals (centred symmetrically around 40 kHz). Similarly a sum frequency signal is also generated. However, only the low frequency signal is used for sub-bottom profiling.


  • Subsea
  • Sub-bottom profiler
  • Parametric sub-bottom profiler
  • Transducer
  • High-resolution sonar
  • Deep sea exploration
  • Oceanography
  • Subsea survey

System Configuration

The Kongsberg TOPAS PS 40 parametric sub-bottom profiler is a sophisticated system available in both Standard and Modular versions. This system includes a Transducer/hydrophone with different configurations: the Standard version features 1 x 24 channels, while the Modular version boasts 3 x 24 channels, accompanied by a three-band receiving hydrophone. The Transceiver Unit is equipped with a linear, switched mode power amplifier, a low noise receiver incorporating a 24 bit ADC, and offers a high dynamic range exceeding 110 dB. The Operator Console includes MMI, facilitates real-time processing, and operates on a PC-based platform with Windows.

Advanced Beam Technology and Deployment

The profiler's parametric sources are adept at generating low-frequency signal beams without distinct sidelobe structures. This design ensures a smooth tapering of the beam, significantly reducing the possibility of spurious signals caused by sidelobes in the received signal. The transducer can be either hull-mounted or temporarily mounted over the side, eliminating the need for deployment or recovery of tow-fishes during surveys. This not only results in efficient survey time and improved positioning accuracy but also enhances the vessel's maneuverability. In "low noise" vessels, the system is capable of achieving excellent profiling results even at survey speeds of more than 12 knots.

Operational Flexibility and Performance

The TOPAS PS 40 offers versatility in operation with various signal waveforms for optimum performance. It typically employs Ricker pulses for high-resolution work, Chirp pulses for deep water and high penetration tasks, and CW pulses for narrow band, frequency-sensitive work. The transmitted acoustic beam is electronically stabilized in both roll and heave, requiring a vertical reference unit, to ensure precise positioning of the insonified area on the sea floor. The transmitter's sequentially beam steering mode, covering a larger sector, is crucial in object detection and location applications. The system's penetration performance, which can exceed 60 meters in water depths over 500 meters, varies based on sediment characteristics, water depth, transmitted signature, and noise level. The profiler is noted for achieving a layer resolution of typically 10 cm or better.

Key features

  • Narrow acoustic beam
  • High bandwidth
  • Chirp and short pulse modes
  • No sidelobes
  • Electronic beam steering
  • Single ping, multi ping, and burst ping modes
  • Real-time processing
  • Heave, roll, and pitch stabilized beam
  • Hull-mounted transducer
  • High spatial resolution
  • Accurate location of objects etc.
  • Outline dimensions for Transceiver Unit


Data sheet

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