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. These criteria are summarized in Table 9-6 at the end of this document (from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).
- Principles of acoustic depth measurement
- Depth collection density and bottom coverage
- Calibration methods
- Quality control methods and assurance techniques
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