Lucky me, I happened to be in the right place at the right time.  I was over at the CEOE Marine Operations Building and I ran into Brian Kidd, a marine technician aboard the RV Hugh R. Sharp. Brian is the resident expert on multibeam echosounder systems and he agreed to talk on camera about some of the data acquisition systems that he’s involved with. While we were talking I noticed that the Scanfish was opened up and getting prepped for an upcoming science mission, so Brian volunteered to talk about the Scanfish as well.  The segment on the multibeam is a tad longer as we had to do some travelling around the ship and ashore to cover the various components as it was being serviced. The multibeam video will be posted shortly has been posted and is available here


The Scanfish was originally a product of GMI of Denmark. GMI was purchased by EIVA, who integrated the Scanfish into their suite of hardware and software solutions in support of marine science and surveying. EIVA hosts a PDF showing specs for the Scanfish MK II on their site. The MK II looks like it is the equivalent of the Scanfish we discussed with Brian. EIVA also provides smaller Scanfish units including the Scanfish Mini and the Scanfish MK I.

The Scanfish is “flown” and monitored via a conductive cable that feeds data and parameters back to EIVA’s “Flight Software” – which the technician uses to control the Scanfish, the winch and to display and log the data being collected.

In addition to housing a CTD (which stands for Conductivity + Temperature + Depth) sensor, the Scanfish also supports the following optional sensors:

  • Fluorometer
  • Turbidity sensor
  • Transmissiometer
  • Oxygen sensor
  • Optical Plankton Counter
  • ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler)
  • Video Camera
  • Other customer supplied sensors