Multibeam Echosounder with Orthogonal Waveforms: Feasibility and Potential Benefits

Antoine Blachet, Andreas Austeng, Joaquin Aparicio, Alan J. Hunter, Roy Edgar Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


Modern multibeam echosounders (MBE) employ frequency-division techniques (FDT) to ensonify multiple sectors within the same ping cycle. This leads to improved performance in coverage rate, and yaw and pitch stabilization. However, it introduces a bias among sectors because MBES systems are frequency dependent. It also reduces the maximum pulse bandwidth compared to a single-sector sonar. In this study, we consider the code-division technique (CDT) as a solution to this problem. A set of orthogonal coded pulses are received within the same frequency band, and each sector is separated with a matched filter. We assess the feasibility of the technique through two stages. 1) First, we formulate an analytical model describing the power and crosstalk budgets of any multisector MBES. The model can then be used to design transmission sequences fitting these budgets. 2) Then, we display the practical usage of the technique for MBES imaging and mapping through simulated case studies. For the same total time-bandwidth budget, we compare the performance of FDT, CDT, and multicarrier CDT (MC-CDT), a hybrid method employing CDT and FDT, which is robust to strong dynamic backscatter. This study considers only bottom detection based on signal amplitude. Our results show that it is possible to share a larger frequency bandwidth between multiple sectors while maintaining an acceptable bottom detection performance similar to FDT. Our choice of time-bandwidth product with CDT offers a crosstalk suppression of -25 dB between sectors, but may display low-magnitude residual artefacts in the water-column data. MC-CDT provides a significant gain of pulse bandwidth while it offers interband separation performance comparable to FDT and reduces significantly the water-column artefacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9405307
Pages (from-to)963-978
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number3
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021


  • Modulated signals
  • multibeam echosounder (MBES)
  • orthogonal waveforms
  • seafloor bathymetry
  • sonar signal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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