Multibeam echosounders enhance capabilities of one of the most advanced privately owned survey vessels. R/V MT. Mitchell, a Seattle based survey vessel first commissioned in 1968 has been fitted with the latest cutting-edge Kongsberg Maritime multibeam system, which passed a Site Acceptance Test (SAT) in April 2008.
The newly installed EM 120 and EM 710 were supplied by Kongsberg Maritime subsidiary, Kongsberg Underwater Technology, Inc., based in Lynnwood, Washington.
The R/V Mt. Mitchell had been in service as a hydrographic survey ship with NOAA. She was completely refurbished and updated by Global Seas and put back into service in 2004. This significant modernization, to the highest SOLAS, ABS and USCG standards, provides an unmatched environment for ship crew and scientific researchers. She is capable of meeting all relevant survey standards including those of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
The EM 120 and EM 710 make the R/V Mt. Mitchell one of the best privately-owned vessels with state-of-the-art capability to perform seabed mapping to full ocean depth with an unrivaled resolution, coverage and accuracy. With its new systems, the R/V Mt. Mitchell is able to map the deepest oceans in the world, surveying in waters down to 11,000 meters. For shallow water surveying, in less than 11 meters, the R/V Mt. Mitchell deploys a 34 foot, twin diesel engine launch.
In addition to the new multibeam installation, a 20" hull sea chest has been installed to accommodate a Kongsberg Maritime High Precision Acoustic Position System (HiPAP) for tracking towed sidescan, ROV and AUV and other through-hull sensors for scientific work can also be deployed.
This summer the R/V Mt. Mitchell will be putting its new multibeams to use collecting data for Terrasond Surveys of Palmer, Alaska and conducting nautical charting surveys of the Cook Inlet. She is also expected to work with UTEC Survey, Inc., a Houston corporation, mapping a cable route along the West Coast of the United States.