Kongsberg Maritime has extended its portfolio of sophisticated scientific hydroacoustic products with the launch of the Simrad EK80, a high precision wideband echo sounder. The EK80 is a quantum leap forward in acoustics for ecosystem monitoring, working on frequencies from 10 to 500 kHz simultaneously.

The Simrad EK80 supersedes the popular Simrad EK60, a system that has sold more than 1,100 units for research vessels worldwide and has become an international standard for fish stock assessment. Developed in close cooperation with leading marine institutes who carried out extensive testing of prototypes during the development period, the EK80 provides an advanced tool for scientists investigating marine and freshwater ecosystems. An upgrade path is available for all vessels fitted with the EK60.

The system exploits wideband echo sounder technology where backscatter levels from a range of frequencies are processed, providing enhanced target information. The wideband frequency sweep (chirp) in combination with advanced signal processing gives exceptionally good signal to noise ratio and range resolution. This combination of high resolution and detailed frequency response is set to assist scientists with ecosystem monitoring enabling them to identify species more accurately.

The Simrad EK80 can operate with single and or split beam transducers and provides real time echo integration and target strength visualisation in an unlimited number of layers as well as recording and storage of raw data for replay or analysis. 3rd party post-processing alternatives for the EK80 RAW data are available for rapid survey analysis and reporting.

The echo sounder system is modular with several combinations of transceivers and transducers available to fit individual research purposes. EK60 is today used for fish stock management worldwide, and to allow for a smooth transition to the EK80 platform the new EK80 SW can work with both the Simrad General Purpose Transceiver (GPT), as well as the Wide Band Transceiver (WBT)

“Previously scientific echo sounders provided information from a few single frequencies and with a limited ability to resolve individual targets, but the new wideband EK80 addresses both these limitations. With continuous frequency information available and a resolution that is dependent on bandwidth rather than pulse duration, the EK80 is set to revolutionise the understanding of the marine ecosystem,” said Tonny Algrøy, Global Sales Manager, Simrad Fish Research, Kongsberg Maritime.”

The EK80 was launched at the ICES symposium on Marine Ecosystem Acoustics in Nantes, France which took place from May 25th to 28th in front of a worldwide audience of leading scientists.

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