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NOAA vessel Okeanos Explorer.

US - NOAA Vessel Completes Successful First Trial for New Echosounder

ongsberg Maritime (KM) has reported that its new EM 304 MKII high-resolution deepwater multibeam echosounder system has just successfully completed its first trials on board the NOAA vessel Okeanos Explorer in the waters off the coast of Florida.

Okeanos Explorer is the first vessel in the world to be fitted with the EM 304 MKII transmit array – a comprehensive upgrade to the trusted EM 302 deepwater multibeam system which has been deployed daily since the ship was originally launched in 2008. The new EM 304 MKII was put through its paces over the course of a 25-day expedition on board Okeanos Explorer, conducted by a team from NOAA Ocean Exploration, the U.S. federal organization devoted to the exploration of deep-ocean environments.

Efficient Deepwater Mapping Work

The motive behind the expedition was to assess the functionality and readiness of all mapping-related equipment on the vessel – including an official authorization of the new EM 304 MKII system – before the remainder of the field season commences. Receiving a green light from the NOAA verifies that this equipment is capable of collecting the most accurate, high-quality survey data and of sharing it with hydrographic communities. By enabling the team to optimize the planning and execution of surveys, it will ensure that all forthcoming missions produce definitive results in the most cost-effective manner.

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