Case Studies

University of Otaga

How New Zealand’s University of Otago is realizing the benefits of the Sonic 2026


In 2016, staff at New Zealand's University of Otago recognized the potential of multibeam echosounders to aid various research projects across the university's major departments. Emily Tidey, who manages Hydrographic Surveying at the university, explains the motivation for acquiring a multibeam system: "We realized we needed to complement [existing gear] with gear for visualizing both the sea bed and the water column."

Equipment Selection

Given the diverse needs of different departments, Tidey looked for a multibeam system that could handle a wide range of environmental and survey requirements. The Sonic range of echosounder systems met these criteria with its versatile range of frequencies and straightforward setup. Tidey was pleased with her experience working with the team: "Despite a lengthy approval process at the university, R2Sonic was there when we were ready."

Current Applications and Research

The multibeam echosounder system has proved to be an invaluable asset to students and researchers in various departments at the University of Otago. One researcher is using the system to study pockmarks on the seabed and the underlying geology, while another is mapping local fisheries with tribal communities for the first time. Geologists working on the Auckland Islands are also using the system to study the evolution of the seabed under climate change since the Holocene.

Future Plans

Tidey hopes that the Sonic echosounder system will continue to be used for a range of natural surveys and research projects at the university. She sees the acquisition of the system as part of the university's ongoing effort to keep up with the latest technology and to provide students with access to cutting-edge equipment:

"Getting the system was almost part of a logical progression...making sure you're showing your students what's out there right now."