The two new multibeam systems passed the FAT with flying colors. One is scheduled to be installed on the USNS Pathfinder (TAGS-60) in 2009 and the second system will be installed on the newest vessel, T-AGS 66, which is yet to be constructed. These installations will follow the successful installation of the first multibeam upgrade on the USNS Sumner (T-AGS 61) in 2007 and the upcoming installation of the USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62) in 2008.
The new sonar systems are a replacement for the current equipment, including the Kongsberg EM 121A, 12 kHz multibeam originally installed when the vessels were constructed in the early 1990s. Five fully integrated sonar systems where tested as part of the two FATs:
• EM 122 (1° x 1°) - Deep-water Multibeam echo Sounder (DMS) for mapping to full ocean depth
• EM 710 (0.5° x 1°) - Shallow to Intermediate depth Multibeam echo sounder
• EA 600 (200, 38, 12 kHz) - Multi-frequency Single Beam echo (MSB) sounder for surveying in all depths
• SBP 120 (3° x 3°) - Deep-water Sub-Bottom Profiler (DSBP) for high-resolution sub-bottom data to full ocean depth
• ADCP (supplied from Teledyne RD Instruments) - Multi-frequency Doppler Current Profiler for shallow and deep current profiling
Additionally, Kongsberg's new Sonar Synchronizing Unit (SSU) was tested and delivered during the FAT in December 2007. The SSU will be used to eliminate acoustic interference between the many sonars located onboard, allowing for more efficient surveying.
Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc. was contracted by NAVOCEANO in March 2006 to provide systems including deep water multibeam echo sounders, multi-frequency single beam echo sounders, deep water sub-bottom profilers and acoustic doppler current profilers for the T-AGS vessels over a five year period.
The T-AGS upgrade contract includes design, manufacture, test, integration, installation and overall support of the new systems. The project is managed and the systems supported by Kongsberg Maritime's technical team in Lynnwood, Washington.