How do I install Sonic Control?

  1. Sonic Control does not have an install program you merely copy Sonic Control to the root directory of one of your hard drives. Do not place it under Program Files or in a folder on the desktop.
  2. Make sure the files are not marked Read-only by Windows™ (use the right mouse button and select Properties).
  3. Right click on r2sonic.exe and select to Send to -> Desktop (create shortcut).

How do I establish communications with the multibeam sonar?

  1. Go to Default network card settings.
  2. Go to the properties of your network card; select IP Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then properties.
  3. All R2Sonic multibeam echosounders communicate via Ethernet, so the computer’s network settings have to be set up to establish communications.
  4. Make sure all Firewalls are off and virus checkers are disabled.
  5. In Sonic Control, go to Settings | Network settings and select the Discover button.
    1. The R2Sonic equipment, on the network, will respond with their serial number.
    2. The serial number will automatically be filled into the correct location (for a single head installation) corresponding to either the Head or the SIM and their default IP addresses and base UDP ports.
    3. Select Apply to have Sonic Control send the correct IP address to the Head and the SIM. You should now see dots in the display.
    4. The serial numbers and IP address are now stored in the CurrentSettings.ini file and will be applied automatically when the system is turned on.

What inputs does the system require?

  1. To provide accurate time stamping, a Pulse Per Second (PPS) and a time message (ZDA or UTC) must be input.
  2. The sound velocity, at the head, is used for receive beam steering and must be input.
  3. Motion data (pitch, roll and heave) can also be entered for roll stabilisation (all systems) and pitch stabilisation (Sonic 2020 and Sonic 2026). Heave is also used to adjust the automatic gating feature.

How is communications established with the auxiliary sensors?

  1. Go to Settings -> Sensor settings.
  2. Data can be input via serial or Ethernet; select the correct interface.
  3. If data are brought in via serial, set the correct baud rate and the other parameters.
  4. If data are brought in via Ethernet; IP and Subnet mask must be chosen so that they will work with the sonar’s network. This means that, if using the default network settings for the sonar, then the auxiliary sensor’s Subnet must be and the IP address must start with
  5. Communication will be indicated by the SIM’s LEDs and, in Sonic Control, in the lower left.

Which motion formats are accepted?

  1. At the present time the following formats are accepted either via serial or Ethernet:
    1. TSS1
    2. iXSea $PHOCT
    3. CDL’s MiniPOS3

What is the Ping Rate and how is it determined?

  1. The sonar emits a acoustic pulse into the water; this is the transmission or Ping.
  2. The ping rate is determined by the Range setting in Sonic Control. The Range setting is the maximum slant range, to the sea floor, that the acoustic pulse will reach.
  3. The user can reduce the Ping rate from what the Range setting determines, but the Ping Rate can never be increased over the default set by the Range setting.

How, then, do I determine the correct Range setting?

  1. In Sonic Control’s window, there is an outline that we term the Wedge; it is comprised of two straight lines and an arc that connects the two straight legs.
  2. The straight legs represent the Slant Range that is set by the Range setting.
  3. As long as the bottom return ‘dots’ are above the meeting point of the straight legs with the arc, which would be the upper part of the wedge display, the correct range is set.
  4. If the bottom is mostly flat (not sloping) and there is no interference, there is a RangeTracTM feature where Sonic Control will automatically set the optimum range.

What does Power, Pulse width and Gain do?

  1. Power is the source level, in dB, or amplitude of the transmit pulse. With the Sonic 2022, 2024 and 2026 the range is 191dB to 221dB With the Sonic 2020 the power range is 177dB to 207dB.
  2. Pulse Width is the period of time that the pulse is transmitted. The pulse width and the power work together to create the total power envelope that is transmitted into the water. Although the pulse width can be set to 15μsec, we recommend a minimum pulse width of 20μsec.
  3. Gain sets the sensitivity of the receiver, much like a volume control, the Gain range is 1 to 45 with each step representing 2dB of gain.
  4. Power, Pulse Width and Gain are the main controls that determine the quality of data. The key is to have sufficient power going into the water, so that the gain can be kept low so as not to amplify noise in the water. However, too much power or too long a pulse width can overdrive the receiver and cause poor data quality; so it is a balancing act of sufficient power, but not too much, and low gain.

What do the Gates do?

  1. Gates are used to keep noise or interference out of the bottom detection process.
  2. Gates are Enable or Disabled by check the box in front of Enable Gates.
  3. The gates are absolute, meaning if you set the gates and they block out the bottom, that data will be lost.
  4. We have gates that can be set for a minimum depth, maximum depth and the seabed slope. The gates can be changed manually or the user can turn on GateTracTM and Sonic Control will automatically set Depth or Depth and Slope based on a percentage of the nadir depth.
  5. GateTracTM requires that the data be without noise or interference. If there is interference then the Enable Gates should be deselected until the interference has passed.
  6. Manual gates can be set by the buttons; left mouse button will reduce the setting and the right mouse button will increase the setting. Manual gates can also be set using the mouse; left mouse button will move the gate individually by positioning the cursor on the gate line and left clicking to drag the gate up and down. Using the right mouse button will move both the minimum and maximum depth simultaneously, when clicking on either of the lines.

How do I know if my sonar has Snippets/TruePixTM enabled?

  1. Go to Help -> Options the table will show what upgrades have been installed.
  2. Even when upgrades are installed they still have to be enabled for output in Sonar Settings.
  3. The data outputs, for the upgraded features, will increase the bandwidth on the network so it is important to increase the network card’s receive buffer. Full details are in the Operation Manual.

Where can I find the manual?

  1. The Operation Manual is contained within Sonic Control.
  2. Go to Help -> Help Topics to bring up the correct Operation Manual for your system.
  3. A PDF reading programme must be installed in order to view the manual.

What are the Ocean Settings?

  1. All underwater acoustic devices use Time Variable Gain (TVG).
  2. TVG is simply put as the gain, in the receive cycle, increases as the time increases in the receive cycle.
    1. The first acoustic returns, usually from the nadir region, are the strongest and need the least amount of gain.
    2. The acoustic return that arrive later in the receive cycle require more gain.
    3. Therefore the gain increases during the receive period.
  3. The degree and rate of receiver gain increased is controlled by various factors, but main controlling factors are Absorption and Spreading Loss:
    1. Absorption is frequency, temperature and salinity dependent; increasing with an increase in any of these factors. There is a inbuilt calculator for absorption or the user can refer to table in Operation Manual.
    2. Spreading loss is not dependent on any factors except the range from the sonar head; the deeper the water, the more the spreading loss.

Explain more about the Settings that I see under File, in Sonic Control

  1. When any changes are made in Sonic Control, they are save in the CurrentSettings.ini file so the CurrentSettings.ini file contains a ‘snapshot’ of the current settings in Sonic Control.
  2. The user can save a unique settings file, for example, an area where they have tuned the sonar and are getting great data and will return to at some point.
    1. Go File -> Save Setting As and give the file a unique name indicating the area the settings are for or the condition the settings are for.
    2. When returning to the area, load the saved settings and Sonic Control will be set exactly as it was when the unique settings were saved.
    3. This becomes the new CurrentSettings.ini file so all changes are saved to the CurrentSettings.ini file and not to the unique settings file; that file will always remain as it was saved the first time, unless the user purposely overwrites it.
  3. Sometimes it might be necessary to return Sonic Control to its factory default state and this is done by loading the correct DefaultSettings file; these files are found in the DefaultSettings folder in Sonic Control.
    1. Go to File -> Load Settings -> DefaultSettings and select the appropriate default setting file for the installation.
    2. Because loading a default settings file sets Sonic Control to factory defaults, the Discover function must be used to establish full communications with the system. The Sensors will also need to be set up.

If I use roll stabilisation do I have apply motion data in my data collection software or will the data be double corrected?

  1. R2Sonic does not compensate the sonar data for motion, it stabilises the sonar for the motion; this is a major distinction.
  2. R2Sonic worked with the major data collection software companies to develop a stabilisation process that would be invisible to the data collection software.
  3. The sonar will always report the real launch angle so the data collection software does not have recompute the angle so therefore there is no possibility of double correcting of the data and, in the same manner, roll stabilisation cannot cause any form of roll artefact.
  4. Roll and pitch stabilisation are optional and can be turned on and off at time.
  5. Understand, also, the roll stabilisation can only adjust the sonar within the maximum sector, so if the user is using a wide sector, roll stabilisation will not work correctly.

What is the double and quad mode under Bottom Sampling in Sonar Settings?

  1. R2Sonic incorporated these modes to provide a better distribution of sounding over the sea floor.
  2. When enabled, each ping is slightly repositioned from the previous ping; either twice (double) or four time (quad) to form the swath.
  3. Beam Repositioning Angle = [SectorCoverage / (256-1)] / n.
    1. n = 1 for normal mode
    2. n = 2 for double mode
    3. n = 4 for quad mode

Can I set up the sonar to send data to more than one computer?

  1. The sonar can be set to broadcast any or all data.
  2. The Subnet determines the address format.
  3. With a default Subnet of, in Network settings, the IP for the data that is to be sent to more than one computer would have an IP
  4. The various data output are Bathy, TruePixTM/Snippets and Water Column so you would enter as the IP for any of those data which is to be sent to more than one computer.

How can I stop transmitting without turning sonar power off?

  1.  With the sonar power on, you can set the transmit Power to 0. Use a combination of the Shift key and the left mouse button to set the Power to 0.

What is the correct shut down procedure?

  1. There is no set procedure to shutting down the sonar, but there is a preferred method.
  2. Although not necessary, it is recommended to turn the sonar power off in Sonar Settings. This is especially recommended for those installation with over the side poles that are recovered and, of course, ROV installations.
  3. To completely shut down, use the rocker switch on the SIM.

Is the sound velocity that comes into Sonic Control really required because I take sound velocity profiles?

  1. First and foremost, the sound velocity that comes into the SIM, from the probe on the head, is not used for refraction correction.
  2. The sound velocity, at the head, is used for the receive beam steering and it is mandatory to have this velocity. The profile that you take is used in your data collection software for refraction correction.
  3. Do not operate the sonar if you do not have a sound velocity input to the SIM.

Does this mean I have to stop the survey if the probe becomes fouled?

  1. Not necessarily. You can enter a manual sound velocity in an emergency.
  2. Go to the Ocean settings; below Spreading is Sound Velocity.
  3. To enter a manual velocity, please a check in the box and enter the last good velocity or take a velocity, from the sound velocity profile, at the same depth as the sonar.
  4. The SVP indicator, in the lower left portion of the GUI, will change to yellow.
  5. At the first opportunity, clear the obstruction that is blocking the probe or replace the probe.
  6. Do not operate for any length of time with a manual sound velocity.

I need help!

  1. Contact
  2. Call +1.805.259.8142
  3. If you have internet capabilities on board, we can connect to your computer via TeamViewer™
    1. Send an SMS or email to the above and request remote assistance.
    2. Use UTC time when setting the appointment; do not use local time nor assume that R2Support is in a certain time zone.
    3. Go to Help -> Remote Assistance.
    4. In the Remote Assistance (TeamViewerTM) window there will be a ID and Password.
      1. The ID is unique to the computer and will never change.
      2. The Password will change every time that the program is run v. Send an SMS or email the ID and Password to the above contacts.
    5. During the remote session, there is a chat feature, in TeamViewer™, for communication back and forth with R2Support.
    6. Remember that R2Support will have full control of the computer so please do not try to use the mouse or do something on the computer, while R2Support assists you.