Sikuliaq 2014 Sea Acceptance Report

The multibeam systems and attendant sensors on R/V Sikuliaq were successfully evaluated. The installation and integration of the systems is compliant with current best-practices and there are no major deficiencies that should hinder anticipated missions. Installation parameters and configurations of the systems have been verified and all patch-tests have been completed and loaded to the systems. As configured at the end of the SAT cruise and as detailed in this report, the systems are ready for generalized mapping activities including bathymetry, seafloor backscatter, and water-column work.

Significant Findings:

  • The ice-breaking bow and hull design results in significant amounts of bubble sweep down over the transducers in anything but calm conditions. This is not unexpected and is likely an inevitable consequence of modern ice-capable ship design.
  • The accuracy and range performance of the EM302 and EM710 fall within the manufacturer tolerances in all water depths. However:
    • The EM302 showed bottom punch through on sector boundaries edges at the deep water accuracy site. Noise and bubble sweep down were not apparent in the data, and instead could suggest a potential power issue when operating at that depth. Deep water bathymetric data, potentially collected around Puerto Rico in 2014, should be evaluated to see if the system does have trouble correctly tracking the bottom in deep water.
    • The EM710 show borderline accuracy and a worrisome motion related artifacts in shallow water.

    Both of these issues merit further investigation.

  • With regard to interference with the multibeam systems, the ship is generally very quiet. Due to operation limitations, the highest speeds were not investigated. We expect the noise performance of the ship to be more comprehensively analyzed by the Acoustic Noise Team.

SKQ201400L3_EM302_EM710_SAT_Report_Final_V1pt1a.pdf28.07 MB