Single Beam Acoustic Depth Measurement Techniques

Credit: 8 PDH

Course Fee: $48.00

46 Pages


Course Summary

Single beam acoustic depth sounding is by far the most widely used depth measurement technique in USACE for surveying river and harbor navigation projects. Acoustic depth sounding was first used in the Corps back in the 1930s but did not replace reliance on lead line depth measurement until the 1950s or 1960s. A variety of acoustic depth systems are used throughout the Corps, depending on project conditions and depths. These include single beam transducer systems, multiple transducer channel sweep systems, and multibeam sweep systems. Although multibeam systems are increasingly being used for surveys of deep-draft projects, single beam systems are still used by the vast majority of districts. This chapter covers the principles of acoustic depth measurement for traditional vertically mounted, single beam systems. Many of these principles are also applicable to multiple transducer sweep systems and multibeam systems. This chapter especially focuses on the critical calibrations required to maintain quality control in single beam echo sounding equipment.

Learning Objectives

  • Applications
  • Principles of Acoustic Depth Measurement
  • Transducer Frequency Specifications
  • Single Beam Echo Sounding Equipment and Procedures
  • Depth Collection Density and Bottom Coverage
  • Effects of Vessel Heave, Roll, Pitch, and Yaw on Single Beam Systems
  • Calibration of Single Beam Echo Sounders
  • Bar or Ball Check Calibration Procedures
  • Depth Corrections Based on Bar Check Data
  • Velocity Meter Calibration Method
  • Squat and Settlement Calibration Test
  • Miscellaneous Controls and Checks
  • Plotted Depth Options for Single Beam Surveys
  • Latency Tests
  • Depth Quality Assurance Techniques for Single Beam Surveys

Course Author

US Army Corps of Engineers



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