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Simrad EK80 for ADCP functionality

Combining a scientific echo sounder with acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP)

The Simrad EK80 once again confirms its position as the leading scientific instrument for measurements of aquatic ecosystems. With the EC150-3C transducer, the EK80 repeats its performance as an innovative acoustic system. It combines the absolute backscatter measurements from the split-beam echo sounder with physical oceanographic measurements from the acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP) beams. And it all happens in one single instrument.

The common phrase “two-in-one” can easily describe the new functionality available for the EK80.

With the EC150-3C transducer the EK80 offers a dedicated calibrated wideband split-beam echo sounder with a 3 degrees beam opening angle. The narrow beam effectively increases the ability to resolve single targets within the beam. The system characterizes and quantifies objects in the water column and bottom backscatter using wideband and split-beam algorithms. The absolute backscatter measurements are used as foundations for science and resource management. The echo sounder transducer is calibrated with a sphere using the built-in EK80 functionality.

Simrad EC150-3C transducer

In addition to the backscatter measurements, the EK80 offers accurate current velocity measurements. The speed and direction of the currents throughout the water column are measured, and presented as a function of the depth. This offers a valuable tool for understanding how organisms, nutrients and other biological and chemical constituents are transported through the ocean. The information can also help understand how climate changes have an effect on how the warm water is transported through the oceans. Physical current measurements can also improve models for how the sea currents behave. This improves various forms of ocean and meteorological forecasts.

The acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP) and narrow splitbeam functionality offered by the Simrad EK80 is based on the EC150-3C transducer. The EC150-3C is a phased array transducer with the advanced transceiver circuitry inside. The common EK80 user interface is used for operational control. You can use the EK80 and the EC150-3C transducer as a “stand-alone” system. You can also add the EC150-3C to an existing EK80 system by simply connecting the additional units to your Ethernet switch.

To use the EC150-3C you need EK80 software version 1.13.0 or later. The EC150-3C is provided with a dedicated power supply to feed the built-in electronic circuitry. The transducer is easily installed using mounting- and clamping rings. The open-ended cable between the transducer and the power supply is provided with the delivery.

Simrad EK80 with ADCP views

This screen capture presents four typical views from a Simrad EK80 using the EC150-3C transducer and ADCP functionality. The top three views present the current water velocity in the north/south, east/west and vertical (down/up) directions. The colours indicate the water speed as specified by the colour scale. The bottom view contains the traditional echogram provided by one of the four ADCP beams. In this view the colours indicate the backscatter intensity.


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Tonny Algrøy
Director Sales Ocean Science