Kongsberg’s launches new EM 304 MKII multibeam echo sounder with major range and swath improvements

Kongsberg Maritime has announced the launch of the EM 304 MKII, the newest addition to its portfolio of deep-water multibeam echo sounders.

Underpinned by a brand new Kongsberg-designed wideband transmitter working in the 20-32kHz band with a nominal frequency of 26kHz, the new mapping system significantly improves upon the performance of the MKI model, boosting range from a previous maximum of 8,000m to full ocean depth, and increasing swath performance by up to 75%.

In addition, the EM 304 MKII delivers an unprecedented 0.3° x 0.5° resolution claimed by the maker as the highest achieved by a deep-water multibeam echo sounder – yielding optimal performance and precision. Meanwhile, the system’s modular construction and flexible transducer design make installation easy and enable it to be adapted to fit almost any size of vessel.

As part of a new EM technology platform designed to anticipate and address future challenges, the EM 304 MKII is compatible with a novel Kongsberg-developed datagram format. This supports several innovative features such as extended backscatter calibration, and more features are already in development. The new format is supported by Kognifai, KONGSBERG’s open digital ecosystem, which provides operators with the potential to transform their survey operations via digitalisation as well as hosting all major post-processing software on the market.

“I am very excited to introduce the EM 304 MKII,” said Kjetil Jensen, Product Manager EM Multibeam, Kongsberg Maritime. “As the global effort to map the world’s oceans escalates, we find that our customers are looking for an echo sounder that will not only maintain its resolution in medium depths, but which will also be able to reach well beyond 7,000m while also providing a substantial swath width. Our engineers have done some remarkable work to enable me to proudly introduce the solution to the age-old conundrum – resolution or range? I give you both, courtesy of the EM 304 MKII and Kongsberg.”

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