Following a series of extensive tests IFREMER (French Marine Institute) has accepted and approved the Simrad ME70 scientific multibeam echo sounder onboard the research ship Thalassa. The information from the ME70 will be used to increase the accuracy of biomass assessments, therefore providing a better understanding of marine life.
Functionality, accuracy, and stability were tested onboard ‘Thalassa’ under sometimes severe weather conditions off the coast of France. The ME70 passed the final tests and IFREMER has formally accepted delivery of this revolutionary multibeam echo sounder.
Data from the ME70 collected during the sea acceptance tests has already provided new and valuable information to IFREMER about the structure of fish schools and fish avoidance caused by the presence of the survey vessel.
The ME70 offers a quantum leap in technology and accuracy, and provides scientists with new and powerful tools for their work. Through this multibeam technology, which has been designed specifically for fishery research applications, the amount and behaviour of fish can be studied with far greater accuracy and detail than ever before.
“Acceptance of the first ME70 by IFREMER is a very important milestone to reach. The multibeam development project at Simrad and Kongsberg Maritime’s Subsea division in Horten is providing the world’s scientists with the next generation of scientific multibeam systems for fishery research applications,” says Frank Reier Knudsen, Ph.D, Fishery biologist/Fishery Research, Simrad.
In 2003, Simrad was awarded a contract by IFREMER to develop the ME70. At the same time, Simrad was awarded a contract with the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Norway to develop a new scientific multibeam sonar – the MS70 – based on the same technology. Simrad began installation of the ME70 onboard ‘Thalassa’ in September 2005.
Several international research communities have already shown great interest in the new Simrad multibeam products. The NOAA research organization (USA), has already ordered two ME70s for two new vessels, and have expressed an interest in additional multibeam systems for other vessels.