What is Side Imaging Sonar?

Side imaging sonar, sometimes referred to as side-scan sonar or bottom classification sonar, is a type of sonar, which is primarily used to efficiently create an image of vast areas of the ocean floor.

The process of using a side imaging sonar involves a marine technique that allows one to see or have a clear image of the ocean floor. This process uses sonar. Sonar is basically sound pulses. These pulses are whlowrance-fishfinder2at are shot across the sea floor from a towed towfish or transducer. Once the sound pulses reach the ocean, river or lake bottoms, they reflect off of reefs or objects. The strength and the travel time of these sound pulses are then recorded and processed to form an image of how the bottom looks like. The technique of using side imaging sonar is almost exactly the same as taking a low angle picture of the sea bed as opposed to an overhead photo through the use of a flashbulb and a white and black film. The thing that makes side imaging sonar different is that there is an illumination of the ocean bed through the use of sound pulses as opposed to light. Because of this reason, side imaging sonar can even work in black or murky waters.


The following video gives a great hands on look at side imaging features, hook and look does a great job here!  Pretty amazing how much detail side imaging gives.


The use of side imaging sonar in the seas, oceans, rivers and lakes has dramatically increased. For those who do large scale fishing, the technology has provided one of the best navigation means. Fishing vessels can now choose paths that hold the best opportunities for large catches. Fish finders now say that through side imaging sonar, they have experienced improved catch loads. This is because like the technology suggests, fishermen can be able to locate large migrations of fish because as the sound pulses move down to the ocean bed, they are affected by this large gatherings of fish. Clear image and sonar pictures also help to assist fishermen.

Side imaging is commonly used by various individuals and institutions to search for shipwrecks, pilings, submerged trees, dumped drums or any other sort of debris that can be found on the sea floor.

In regards to the commercial sector, side imaging sonar can help with underwater inspections of docking berths and shipping channels. In cases of pipeline snags or deviations, side imaging sonar can be used to solve the problem.

For those who regularly spend time on the seas and oceans, doing various forms of fishing or marine activities, the sea or ocean bed is an important aspect. They usually need a clear and extensive view of what is on the bed. Through side imaging sonar, such individuals can map out vast areas of sea and ocean floors.

Side imaging sonar helps to not only detect objects but also give a clear view of the said objects. With today’s technology, sonar has become highly developed and therefore images and pictures are now clearer and more accurate.

Side imaging sonar is currently used globally. Government military institutions are currently use sonar to navigate the ocean bed. They have even gone as far as doing successful rescue operations, saving ship wrecked sailors.