Acoustic Sensors on the R/V Falkor in Norway

The Schmidt Ocean Institute (a US organization founded by Google) entrusted the French Oceanographic Fleet, in collaboration with New Hampshire University, with the sea trials and the performance assessment of all the acoustic sensors fitted to its deep-sea research vessel Falkor (83 m). The total cost of the project was €160,000.

The Falkor is equipped with Kongsberg EM 710 and EM 302 multibeam echo sounders, Kongsberg EA 600 and Simrad ER 60 multifrequency echo sounders, Teledyne OS75 and WH300 acoustic Doppler current profilers, a Sonardyne ultra-short baseline (USBL), a Knudsen 3260 sub-bottom profiler and a Simrad SH 90 omnidirectional sonar.

A system developed by the French Oceanographic Fleet for calibrating the echo sounders was installed and set up. The subsequent trials validated the excellent acoustic performance of the ship and its equipment. It was during these IFREMER trials that the SS Terra Nova was discovered off Greenland. Involved in polar exploration in the early twentieth century, she was the support ship on Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the south pole in 1910–1913. The Terra Nova sank in 1943 off the south coast of Greenland. The IFREMER team defined and supervised the survey of the zone with a multibeam echo sounder (Kongsberg EM 71) and processed the sonar data.