Multibeam Sonar Technology: A Look Inside

SONAR is an abbreviation for a device that uses sound to find objects inside a water column (Sound Navigation and Ranging). Active sonars produce their unique sound waves and analyze their reflected (echo) waves (echosounder). Multibeam and single beam sonars are part of active sonars. The soil topography underwater can be displayed via multibeam sonar.


How Does A Multibeam Sonar Work?

Echosounders work on the following principle: a projector emits sound waves caught up by a receiver or hydrophone. A transducer is a transmitter that can both create and receive sound waves. The depth or bottom type can be determined by the travel time or energy of the reflected waves. The results are determined by the frequencies broadcast. Low frequencies can go further than high frequencies because they are less absorbed. As a result, low frequencies monitor a larger area with lower resolution than high frequencies.


R2Sonic marine sonar is capable of producing multiple narrow beams. The transducer is installed in the vessel’s keel and has a range of sound waves. As a result, the seafloor is scanned using a continuous line perpendicular to the vessel’s travel direction. The width of each line placed on the soil is the swath length. It can be expressed in meters or as the angle (in degrees) at which the line forms.

The transducer determines the time and energy difference between generated and reflected sound waves. Consequently, The seabed’s depth and properties may be determined because a smooth and firm surface reflects more waves than a slanted one.


A vessel equipped with a multibeam sonar may scan the characteristics of the water column in addition to the seafloor. The emitted beams interact with the particles in the water column, creating their reflections. Intuitively, the amount of reflected energy is proportional to the number of particles in the water column.


 In practice, particle size and type, as well as transmission frequency, are all crucial. Much research is being done right now on the relationship between multibeam data from water columns and turbidity.

Sonar: Single Beam vs. Multibeam

A single beam system, with beam widths varying from 10 to 30 degrees, calculates depth by measuring the distance between the main beam and the seafloor, as well as the shortest slant range. Multibeam (swath sonar) systems estimate slant range and elevation angle in a series of measurements along a fixed azimuth. This method is favored since it measures the entire area of the seafloor rather than just a single line. If you’re asking on where to get a multibeam sonar, Just check on the link on this page

A Multibeam Sonar may be used in several situations.

  • Dredging or underwater construction
  • Conducting a bathymetry survey
  • Mapping the turbidity of the water column
  • Mapping of aquatic habitats
  • Mapping of underwater cultural heritage


Multibeam echo sounders benefit from scanning the seabed with a fan of thin acoustic beams, which allows them to cover the whole seabed completely. In comparison to single-beam mapping, the resulting seabed maps are more detailed. The maps are created faster, which decreases the time necessary for ship surveying.

Multibeam sonar is the finest option for underwater mapping since it produces the greatest results.