The Multimode Multibeam Sonar (M3 Sonar®) from Kongsberg Maritime’s subsidiary Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd is now part of a new acoustic transponder tag monitoring system being introduced to the fisheries research community during the American Fisheries Society annual conference in Portland, Oregon this week.

This innovative system is the result of engineering cooperation between Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd and Sonotronics, with application support from Milne Technologies.

The system is composed of three instruments: the M3 Sonar® and M3 Tag Activator, and Sonotronic’s acoustic transponder tags.

The transponder tags are inserted into targets and remain dormant until the M3 Tag Activator wakes them. Once operational, the M3 Sonar® collects data from the tag, including the unique tag code, position and in some cases, depth of the tagged target, while also sampling a large swath for water column targets and bottom habitat. This enables fisheries researchers to easily identify one fish from among hundreds.

Additional benefits of the system include the ability to be used in conjunction with other acoustic tools to provide biomass estimates and the opportunity for extended multi-year studies due to the transponder tags’ longer battery life.

Kongsberg Maritime fisheries research manager Jeff Condiotty said: "This new system is a reflection of Kongsberg Mesotech’s continued advancement into environmental monitoring applications for the M3 Sonar®.

"We are excited to introduce a new capability to the environmental monitoring market based on our established technology integrated with leading solutions from Sonotronics and Milne Technologies, which meet the needs of many different fishery research applications."

The M3 Sonar® is characterised by its innovative design and versatility with both imaging and profiling capabilities. It is established as a leading system for a wide range of applications within marine engineering and site inspection (MESI), search and recovery (SAR), security, underwater vehicle instrumentation (UVI) and environmental monitoring, where it is used for: mammal behaviour monitoring, fish monitoring, geological studies (bedforms and gas bubble / seeps), wastewater ponds and lagoons, archaeological sites and ship wreck detection, and coral reef monitoring.