See That Sound?

Student Worksheet - Guidance for Research on Hydrographic Sonar

Your assignment is to prepare a written report that includes answers to the following questions, and a design for a sidescan sonar system that could be constructed with a maximum budget of $500. Answering these questions should lead you to some useful approaches for the design problem.

  1. “Sonar” is actually an acronym. What does it mean?

  2. What are the basic components of a sonar system?

  3. Why are transducers for sidescan sonar often contained in a “towfish” that is towed behind the survey vessel?

  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of high frequency (500 kHz and up) sonar signals compared to lower frequency (50 kHz or 100 kHz) signals?

  5. What is the difference between sidescan sonar and multibeam sonar?

  6. Discuss the importance of sidescan sonar and multibeam sonar to one of the following areas: ocean transportation, oceanographic research, disaster response, or maritime archaeology.


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