ASL Trials Prototype Split-Beam Sonar

ASL Environmental Sciences has announced the successful field trials of a new prototype split-
beam sonar. The trials were conducted in the Saanich Inlet near the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS), Sidney, British Columbia, Canada.

This milestone marks the first such deployment of the prototype instrument, as part of a collaboration between researchers at Memorial University, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), and ASL.

Split-beam echosounders use multiple receive channels to determine target location within the
acoustical beam. Unlike ordinary single-beam echosounders, split-beam echosounders can determine not only the range but also the direction of arrival of incoming signals. This facilitates accurate measurements of target strength. When detecting fish over multiple pings, a split-beam sonar may track the fish and estimate its swimming speed and direction.

This new split-beam echosounder prototype is designed to run autonomously for months at
a time, allowing researchers to collect long-time-series data at the study site. Many researchers find
such tools useful when studying fish behavior throughout changing seasons, or when deploying in
remote environments.

The field trial for this new design was carried out February 1, 2023, and the results are promising. As part of the system testing, two small spheres were lowered and raised through the water column to a maximum depth of 220 m.

Learn more here.

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