Subsea Tech Unveils Automatic Seafloor Classification System

Subsea Tech has developed in partnership with Seaviews company an acoustic system for automatic seafloor classification (SACLAF) using a multibeam echosounder.

This project was led within the framework of the ADEME‘s Programme Investissement d’Avenir (with the contribution of the Pôle Mer Méditerranée).

The developed system allows measuring and classifying the variations of the sounder signal in order to determine the seafloor nature and the presence of marine vegetation.

Data acquisition was carried out using the NORBIT WBMS echosounder mounted on our CAT-Surveyor USV. The CAT-Surveyor’s automatic navigation software allows programming the USV route and automating the acquisition process. The Surveyor’s low draught allows operations in very shallow areas (80cm).

The acquisition provides 2 types of data: Echo-integration data (signal distortion depending on the seafloor nature); Roughness index identifying accurately the floor shape.

According to Subsea Tech, this technology can produce detailed and high resolution maps of large areas at low cost. Sonar and aerial images can be combined to cross-check the data.