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Marine Engineering & Site Inspection

Riverbed profile (Finland) data courtesy of YRT Finland OY.

Kongsberg Mesotech pioneered the use of scanning sonar for underwater marine engineering applications. The Company is a world leader in the development of products used for visualization of underwater structures (bridges, docks, piers, dams etc.) and using sonar to support a multitude of underwater construction applications. Underwater inspection of man-made structures is vital as they age. In addition, water currents, corrosion, and damage from storms and vessels may impact structure integrity.

Diving inspections are often challenged by high current, deep water, lack of visibility and debris accumulation around the structure. In addition to limiting the diver from completing a thorough inspection, debris buildup around bridge piers is potentially one of the most dangerous conditions the inspection diver faces. It introduces the possibility of entanglement, and even worse, diver entrapment if the debris moves. (1)

High-resolution sonar provides superior quality data, and the compact size and portability of the sonar enables quick, frequent monitoring and lower costs. The Kongsberg Mesotech scanning sonar and MS1000 processing software system is ideal for underwater engineering, search and surveying applications.

Scanning Sonar & Processing Software System

The high-resolution scanning sonar head operates on the full MS1000 version processing software. Unlike conventional processors, the MS1000 software has many advanced features for data interpretation. These features are beneficial to various engineering and construction applications, including the ability to measure length and area, geo-reference and track targets.

High-resolution Scanning Sonar offers

  • Narrower horizontal beam angle and smaller angular resolution (for superior image quality)
  • Tuneable frequency transducers (model dependant)
  • Exposed transducer (to eliminate acoustic lensing)
  • Increased power output (for better signal to noise ratios)

To single-beam scanning sonar

MS1000 processing software

  • 3D profiling possible with rotating device
  • Track Plotter module allows user to plot scanned area, geo-reference sonar targets and create GeoTIFFs
  • Networking capability
  • Target tracking
  • Simultaneous multiple head operation

To MS1000 Processing Software

Sonar Applications

Imaging Sonar Applications

Imaging sonar uses a fan-shaped acoustic beam to scan a specified area or target. Please see application examples in the column to the right.

  • Inspection of man-made structures (bridges, docks, piers and dams)
  • Site and seabed search and survey
  • Underwater construction support
  • Positioning stabilization mattresses and gabions
  • Pipeline and cable surveys
  • Scour and sediment aggregation monitoring
  • Diving support
  • Underwater timber stockpile assessment and recovery operations
  • Archaeological surveying

Profiling Sonar Applications

Profiling sonar is primarily used for quantitative measurements where a narrow, conically shaped beam generates a single range point for each ping.

  • Single Axis Profiling – the sonar is positioned stationary while the transducer rotates through a selected arc of coverage and creates a line of profile points. To collect a different profile, the sonar head must be re-positioned.
  • Dual Axis Profiling – the single axis profiling head is integrated with a mechanical second-axis drive (rotator). After collecting the single axis profile, the head is rotated by the second axis drive through pre-set increments and the scan process repeats. This generates a star-like pattern of profiles from a single position, after which the processed data generates a 3D point cloud projection.

Water intake inspection, data courtesy of ASI Group Ltd.

Training and Support

Technical Training

Training is provided on site for up to 24 people (larger groups can be accommodated upon request). Refresher courses are also available.

Repair and Upgrade Services

Equipment repairs are available at Kongsberg Mesotech's manufacturing facility and strategically located affiliates. Upgrades and major rebuilds are completed at the manufacturing facility.

  • Manufacturing Facility
    Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.
    Vancouver, Canada
  • Affiliate Locations
    Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Please call toll-free 1.888.464.1598 or email km.sales.vancouver@kongsberg.com for more information.

MS1000 Software Updates

MS1000 software updates are downloaded directly from the Kongsberg FTP site at ftp.kongsberg-mesotech.com. Please call +1 888 464 1598 or email km.sales.vancouver@kongsberg.com for download instructions.

Phone Support

Please call toll-free: +1 888 464 1598 for support, Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm PST.


(1) Mark W. Atherton (2011). Echoes and Images, the Encyclopedia of Side-Scan and Scanning Sonar Operations. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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