PicoMBES Multibeam Echo Sounder



PicoMBES is a small, low-cost multibeam echosounder, developed by Picotech Ltd.

Two versions are available:

  • PicoMBES-120; with 120° coverage; perfect for:
    • Bathymetric surveys to 200m depth
    • Operations from small platforms: Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) & Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV)
  • PicoMBES-40; with 40° coverage; perfect for:
    • Integration with swath bathymetry sonars to enhance data density at the nadir (vertical direction pointing directly below the boat)
    • Focused inspection work: pipelines, dredging, seabed structures


  • 120° swath sector
  • Beam width: 1.6°x1°, 256 beams @ 0.47°
  • Resolution: 37mm
  • Sonar frequency: 337 kHz
  • Range: 200m max
  • Power: 12V-36V @ 9W
  • 42° swath sector
  • Beam width: 1°x1°, 64 beams @ 0.7°
  • Resolution: 18mm
  • Sonar frequency: 500 kHz
  • Range: 120m max
  • Power: 12V-36V @ 9W







PicoMBES Transducer

2 are used: transmit and receive

PicoMBES Bottle


Using PicoMBES with Bathyswath

Picotech has worked with ITER Systems to integrate their interferometric swath sonar, Bathyswath, with PicoMBES to create a seamless survey tool.

The multibeam echosounder capacity of PicoMBES & the interferometric swath sonar of Bathyswath are extremely complementary, each filling in the data measurements where the other is not so effective.

Interferometric swath sonars measure the angle from the sensor to the seabed at intervals of range. This means that their angular spacing is wider underneath the boat but that they can measure at further distances from the boat than multibeam echosounders. Meanwhile, the depth measurements of multibeam echosounders are limited to an angular range underneath the boat, but at a fixed, close angular spacing, therefore provide increased quality of data where interferometers are weakest.

The small size of PicoMBES means that it is simple to mount next to the interferometric sonar transducers.
PicoMBES is fully integrated with the Bathyswath data gathering & processing software. I t can be used with any of the Bathyswath range of sonars, or its fore-runner, SWATHplus. It may also be used with other interferometric swath bathymetry sonars & other data processing software packages.