Sonar Plays Integral Role in First Human Reaching Deepest Point in Atlantic - 04/02/2019

Kongsberg Maritime has announced that the EM 124 sonar, installed aboard the DSSV Pressure Drop, played a key role in the deepest solo human submersible dive completed by the Five Deeps Expedition. Expedition founder and submersible pilot, Victor Vescovo, reached the bottom (depth of 8,376 metres) of the Puerto Rico Trench in his private submersible, the Limiting Factor, following precision mapping of the ocean floor completed by the EM 124.

The Kongsberg EM 124, released in 2018, is the fifth generation multibeam system from Kongsberg Maritime and the successor of the EM 122. It is a modular multibeam echosounder that performs high-resolution seabed mapping from shallow waters to full ocean depths (11,000m) with unparalleled swath coverage and resolution. It has a broad range of functionality, including the simultaneous collection of seabed and water column imagery. This capability saves time and increases efficiency during the planning, execution and analysis phase of a mission. The low-noise electronics are compact and flexible in design for easy installation and integration into a vessel of any size.

Digital 3D renderings of the sea floor

"This was the very first delivery of the EM 124 and it has already proven to be a success with fantastic results," said Chris Hancock, vice president of sales for Kongsberg Underwater Technology. "The Five Deeps Expedition leaders and the crew of the DSSV Pressure Drop were excellent to collaborate with throughout the installation and commissioning phase of this project. Our expert technical team was able to optimize system performance and conclude successful sea acceptance trials just prior to the scheduled dive in the Puerto Rico Trench. Over the next 12 months, we will continue to work together and support the expedition remotely through our mapping cloud service."

The Five Deeps Expedition is the first manned expedition in a commercially-certified submersible seeking to reach the deepest points in the five oceans by the end of 2019. The journey will cover 40,000 nautical miles (74,000km) and the submersible will have descended through at least 72,000m (236,220ft) of water.

The Kongsberg Maritime EM 124 mapped the Puerto Rico Trench  to depths greater than 8,000 metres.
The Kongsberg Maritime EM 124 mapped the Puerto Rico Trench to depths greater than 8,000 metres.

Last updated: 05/03/2020