E/V Nautilus recently installed a new hull-mounted multibeam echosounder for efficiently mapping the seafloor. The Kongsberg EM 302 is a 30 kHz multibeam echosounder composed of two long transducer arrays mounted in a T-shape on the hull of E/V Nautilus. The ship is now capable of mapping the seafloor from 10 to 7000 meters water depth as the ship cruises at 8-10 knots.
The multibeam echosounder collects bathymetric, surface sediment characteristic, and water column data. The information it collects is useful for identifying areas or features of interest; creating bathymetric charts for ROV dive planning and situational awareness; and locating hydrothermal vents and gas or oil seeps.