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2017: The R2Sonic Multispectral Challenge

When we released the revolutionary R2Sonic Multispectral mode, we gave users the ability to collect backscatter data at different frequencies in one pass and with one MBES only. In Multispectral mode, the acoustic responses of seafloor sediments at different frequencies coincide in time and space. This was a significant contribution for the advancement of research in bottom characterization.


With this innovative breakthrough, R2Sonic founders launched the 2017 Multispectral Challenge. They opened the competition worldwide, challenging researchers and scientists across the globe to explore ways to use multispectral backscatter data for determining bottom type. Six competitors submitted white papers each with the goal to develop an algorithm that robustly and repeatedly could determine bottom type based on multispectral data.

All research papers took different mathematical approaches. So who won?

Of the six competitors, Timo Gaida from Delft University of Technology was awarded first place. The prize? The new Sonic 2026 system. The revolutionary Sonic 2026 system can collect data at up to five different frequencies, ranging from 200kHz to 450kHz and with a low frequency option at 90/100kHz. 


To read, download Timo Giada’s white paper – 




You can download all other white papers submitted to the 2017 R2Sonic Challenge by clicking here.

The Ceremony Award at GeoHab 2018

2019: The R2Sonic Multispectral Water Column Challenge! 

We’re doing it again!

This time, three universities collaborated to collect Multispectral TruePix™ data:

  • Northern Arizona University
  • Nova Scotia Community College
  • the University of Southern Mississippi

QPS has also been instrumental in making the R2Sonic Multispectral Water Column Challenge possible, by developing the appropriate tool to process Multispectral TruePix™ data and by offering free licenses to participants.  


Similar to the enhanced seafloor discrimination capabilities identified through the first R2Sonic Challenge, for the 2019 R2Sonic Multispectral Water Column Challenge, we requested submissions exploring new and improved identification, differentiation and characterization of targets in the water column based on the responses observed at different frequencies.


The winner was going to be announced at the GeoHab conference, and as the event has been rescheduled until May 2021, we are taking advantage of it to extend the R2Sonic Challenge.


Registrations are now open again.  Research papers will be due in conjunction with abstracts to the GeoHab conference, which is estimated to be in February 2021.




Thank you to our partners for making the R2Sonic Challenge possible!

captain and crew operating a multibeam echosounder on bridge of ship

Contact us today to learn more about the 2019 R2Sonic Multispectral Water Column Challenge

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