Technical Description - Advantages of Bathyswath


Bathyswath not only provides the benefits associated with other swath bathymetry sonars, but also it has several unique advantages:


Bathyswath measures depths across a wide track, giving high resolution and accuracy. Both these factors mean that the time taken to survey an area with sufficient coverage for engineering and hydrographic use is greatly reduced, when compared with conventional surveying techniques.

Bathyswath is capable of providing total ensonification of the bottom at practical and efficient survey speeds. The seabed is typically covered at around 500m2 per second. Click for more detail.



Bathyswath provides the option to ping on both port and starboard transducers simultaneously, thus offering the ability to double the productivity and along-track coverage of competing interferometric systems.



Bathyswath may be configured as a portable system, which means that it may be deployed from almost any vessel. This eliminates the need for expensive modifications to survey vessels, with the associated tying-up of capital investment in a single vessel, and allows the system to be transported anywhere in the world.

Bathyswath can be used with laptop computers, with electronic components weighing a few kilogrammes and taking power of less than 25W.



Compared with beamforming swath sounding systems, Bathyswath takes many more depth measurements per hour, thus giving greater resolution and coverage, and allowing greater scope for statistical filtering of the measurements. Furthermore, the angle at which depths may be measured is not limited to a fixed arc, so that much wider coverage can be obtained in shallow water, even allowing measurements to be made of shoreline structures. A beamformer suffers from poor resolution at far range, where the footprint of its beams is very large due to the small strike angle with the seabed. Bathyswath avoids this problem, as the area of the energized patch of seabed does not increase dramatically as it moves away from the transducers.



Bathyswath produces high quality side scan data as well as bathymetry. The range of the side scan data is the same as that from sidescan-only systems.

The sidescan information helps with the interpretation and processing of bathymetric data, and the bathymetry enables the sidescan information to be correctly located on the seabed, avoiding the usual “flat seabed” approximation used in sidescan-only systems.



Bathyswath can detect objects in mid-water and on the surface, as well as the bottom. The Bathyswath processing software allows such objects to be mapped and visualized in 3D. The high resolution of the system makes it ideal for this application. Measuring the amplitude of return as well as bathymetry allows small, hard mid-water targets to be differentiated from “noise”.

Applications of this capability include scanning the hulls of vessels, for example for homeland security and anti-drug enforcement, or for monitoring sub-sea engineering structures, including port facilities, pipelines and oilfields.



System simplicity results in a low initial purchase price, high reliability, simple maintenance and long service life. The Bathyswath software runs under Microsoft Windows, with a familiar user interface, or industry-standard data gathering and processing software can be used, which reduces the need for training and refreshing courses.

For portable systems, low system bulk and rapid deployment result in low mobilization and demobilization costs. Bathyswath is robust, reliable and simple, resulting in reduced repair costs and down-time. Each Bathyswath system is delivered complete with all the software necessary for real-time survey work and data post-processing.

Data is recorded in a completely raw state; filter settings applied by the operator only apply to the screen images and processed data files. This reduces the need to re-survey because of operator error. Processed data files can be recorded at the same time, in real time, giving the potential for a quick turn-around of data products.