SONIC 2020

The Sonic 2020 is the low-cost entry level broadband Multibeam Echosounder for shallow water that you’ve been looking for! This highly portable, easy to use unit makes survey operations efficient and fast! Ideal for river systems, riparian, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes.

The Sonic 2020 can be upgraded to Ultra High Resolution (UHR), providing extremely narrow beamwidths at 700kHz operation. The narrow beamwidths at 700 kHz make this option invaluable for detail pipeline inspections, cable laying operations, archeological wreck surveys or other micro bathymetry applications. When UHR is selected, the beamwidth is 1⁰ x 1⁰, providing unprecedented small bottom footprints.

Few examples of applications:

  • Entry level hydrography
  • Very small vessels
  • Small Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) and Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV)
  • Rivers, estuaries, reservoirs, lakes

Learn how R2Sonic MBES technology provides exceptionally clean, raw, data for your projects that can increase your business’s productivity and profitability.

For a complete list of ancillary sensors, click here.

Sonic 2020 – What’s In It For You


Budget entry level Multibeam Echosounder


Extremely small and light systems: 140 x 161 x 133.5 mm and only 4.4kg (in air)


All options are available with the Sonic 2020.

These are: Bathymetry with optional Ultra High Resolution (UHR), TruePix™ Backscatter, Raw Water Column, Pipeline Mode, Multispectral Mode, Forward Looking Sonar imagery.  Only the option 90kHz/100kHz is exclusive to the Sonic 2026.

Wideband Operation

Wide selectable operating frequencies between 200kHz and 400kHz in steps of 1Hz resolution.

Optional 700kHz for detailed surveys such as pipeline inspections and cable laying operations and archaeological wreck surveys or micro bathymetry applications.

High flexibility and control provided to users to avoid interference from other active acoustic systems.

Remarkable Performances for Entry Level MBES

Focused Beamwidths 1⁰x 1⁰ at 700kHz.

60kHz signal bandwidth over primary frequency range.

Bottom Detect Range Resolution of 3mm

Maximum range: up to 200m+

Ease of Operation

Signal Processor and Controller embedded in the Sonar head, making the Sonic 2020 well suited for AUV.

Extremely low weight, volume & power consumption (20Wavg).

Compelling Value

Advanced sonar technology.

Warranty: 3-year with option for 6-year extended warranty

Value priced.

Trade-in rebate for older technology systems.

Technical Details

Selectable Frequencies

200kHz – 400kHz.  Optional 700kHz

Minimum frequency increase


Beamwidth, across track and along track

1° x 1° at 700kHz (optional)
2° x 2° at 400kHz
4° x 4° at 200kHz

Number of soundings

Up to 1024 soundings per ping

Max speed (vessel)

11.1 knots for full coverage (*)

Near-field focusing (*)


Roll stabilized beams


Pitch stabilized beams


ROBO™ Automated Operation

Auto Power, pulse width, rangeTrac™, GateTrac™, SlopeTrac™

Saturation monitor


Selectable Swath Sector (also referred as Max Coverage)

10° to 130°

Option: 10° to 160°

User selectable in real-time

Sounding Patterns

single / double / quad modes
Ultra High Density (UHD)

Sounding Depth

Up to 200m+

Pulse Length

15µs – 1ms

Pulse Type

Shaped CW

Ping Rate

Up to 60Hz


Up to 60kHz

Immersion Depth

Optional 4000m
FLS projectors are rated 4000m

Bottom Detect Resolution


Operating Temperature

-10°C to 40°C

Storage Temperature

-30°C to 55°C

Electrical Interface


90-260VAC, 45-65Hz

Power consumption

20W avg


10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet

Sync in, Sync out


Deck cable length

15m, optional 25m and 50m


Sonar Dimension

140 x 161 x 133.5 mm

Sonar Mass


Sonar Interface Module Dim (LWH)

280 x 170 x 60 mm

Sonar Interface Module Mass


System Options

Integrated Inertial Navigation System

The Inertial Navigation System (INS) integrates seamlessly with the Sonic MBES enabling the user to obtain the most accurate and robust motion compensation solution for hydrographic surveying encompassing vessel latitude, longitude, altitude, heave, pitch, roll and heading.

Ultra High Resolution (UHR)

Highest resolution available: beamwidths down to 1° x 1°

Operating frequency of 700kHz

Ideal option for detailed site surveys such as pipeline inspections, cable laying operations, as well as archeological wreck surveys or micro bathymetry applications.

The Ultra High Resolution option is embedded in UHR capable projectors and can be easily enabled from the field with option purchase.

TruePix™ Backscatter

Many multibeam systems are capable of recording data on acoustic backscatter ‒ artifacts that may interfere with the accuracy of depth soundings. Only R2Sonic provides TruePix™ –  a process that is independent from bottom detection, and like Digital Side scan, can be used in data editing to determine whether the data points are outliers or real.

Raw Water Column Data

Raw beam formed water column data output provides increased functionality for Sonic Wideband Multibeam Echo Sounders with the ability to collect simultaneous and co-registered bathymetry, backscatter and water column backscatter data for variety of applications including pelagic fisheries habitat mapping, methane seep investigation and more.


Full coverage multifrequency surveys in a single operation and with a single system

Main applications:

– Pipeline Mode: specifically developed for surveying pipes or cables, combines the UHR and the multimode with two frequencies.  The 700kHz operating frequency provides a detailed survey of the pipe or cable, while the second lower frequency provides soundings of the natural surroundings seabed.

– Multispectral Mode: provides full coverage with two or more frequencies and ensures highly accurate data by matching aspect angles of the backscatter data of all frequencies. It’s an active area of research for bottom characterization and habitat mapping.

6-year Extended Warranty

Reduce the risk associate with your investment in a MBES!  R2Sonic offers a 6-year extended warranty that covers repairs & replacements.  Please contact us for more information.

4000m Immersion Depth Rating

Sonic Wideband Multibeam Echosounders are available with 4000m immersion depth rated option for ROV/AUV applications. For those rated systems, extensive pressure testing is performed to just over 400bar and supplied with pass rating certificate to ensure performance to specified depth. Systems are typically pressure tested at time of order but can also be upgraded at any time with return of unit to R2Sonic facility.

Please note that Forward Looking Sonars are rated at 3000m instead of 4000m.

Automated Operation with Robo™

Setup to automatically change Power, Pulse Width and Gain.

Robo™ operation, Range Trac™ and Gate Trac™ can be used together for an almost hands-free operation of the sonar (within environmental limits).

Mounting Hardware & Assemblies

Basic mounting hardware is supplied as standard with each system. A lightweight and easy to assemble mounting bracket and fairing is supplied as an option. The Sonic mount bracket & fairing is designed to reduce cavitation around the receiver array and includes a protective fin for the transmit projector when mounted in the fore position.

Antifouling Coating Protection

Basic mounting hardware is supplied as standard with each system. A lightweight and easy to assemble mounting bracket and fairing is supplied as an option. The Sonic mount bracket & fairing is designed to reduce cavitation around the receiver array and includes a protective fin for the transmit projector when mounted in the fore position.

Software Available

HYPACK®, QINSy™ and Chesapeake Technologies SonarWiz data collection software are all compatible and available for purchase.

More Information

Repair & Maintenance Service

We commit to evaluate all MBES that come for repair and/or maintenance within 10 business days after reception at the R2Sonic facilities and 5 business days from the moment the corresponding Purchase Order is issued.

Warranty & Support

Industry leading support, with access to senior level hydrographic expertise, and optional 6 year warranty coverage for low total cost of ownership.

Training Materials

Educational materials covering major aspects of hydrographic survey using a Multibeam Echosounder may be downloaded directly from our website. Visit the Training page to access and download related training materials.


Electronic manuals are provided to our customers at no charge. Should you require a manual, please contact our technical support.

For information on position, heading resolution, pitch/roll accuracy and heave accuracy, please refer to the I2NS specification sheet.
(*) The speed of the survey is primarily limited by the installation of the MBES.
    “Thank you for your fantastic back up service.”
    - Clint Marx, Owner, LM Surveys,