Mine Warfare Essentials

Course Length:



The three-day course emphasizes realistic expectations based on field operations. Case studies will provide a solid understanding of the major issues and effects. Noise testing and performance limitations of noise is covered as are the relationships between position, attitude, and bathymetry.

The course presents some of the latest techniques used for side scan sonar data review. The course is valuable for users of sonar records, for operators of equipment, and for scientists and engineers involved in the development and evaluation of sonar equipment. The course will discuss both commercial and military applications. All attendees will receive a complete set of notes.

Course Outline:

Sonar Overview

  • Historical development (SONAR technology)
  • Basic sonar principles
  • Applications of side scan sonar
  • Sub-bottom profiler principles
  • Applications of sub-bottom profiling
  • Bathymetric mapping principles
  • Applications of bathymetric mapping

Introduction to SONAR Theory

  • Source level
  • Pulse length
  • Beamwidth
  • Frequency
  • Resolution
  • Advanced side scan sonar principles (multi-ping, multi-beam, SAS)

Introduction to Sound Propagation

  • Sound velocity
  • Spreading
  • Absorption
  • Refraction
  • Sound reflection
  • Backscatter (reverberation)
  • Time-varied gain
  • Noise (Ambient, self-made)
  • Sound in sediments
  • Sonar equation

Surface Effects

  • Targets and shadows
  • Sonar design or function
  • Towing conditions
  • Electrical noise
  • Distortions
  • Quantitative treatment
  • Sub-bottom profiler interpretation and recognizing anomalies
  • Bathymetry expressions and interpretation of anomalies

Side Scan Sonar System Architecture

    • Software applications (imaging, targeting, CAD/CAC/ATR, mensuration, mapping, reporting)
    • Topside hardware-interfaces and considerations (safety and quality)
    • Towfish system hardware and considerations (safety and quality)
    • Towing accessories

i. winches, sheaves, cable counters and handling equipment ii. wing, keel and clump weight depressors, and drogues iii. sensors-magnetometers, USBL, LBL, pingers

  • System maintenance, operations and troubleshooting

System Installation

    • Towfish rigging
    • Operational variables
    • Towfish positioning
    • Targets
    • Safety and quality concerns

Specialized Applications

  • REA applications and considerations (imagery coverage mosaic, bathymetry and magnetic anomaly mapping)
  • Search and survey operations
  • Unmanned (remotely operated) applications
  • Autonomous applications


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com.


  • Straud Armstrong – Earned B.S. in Marine Sciences, M.S. and Candidacy for Ph.D. in Geological Sciences through the University of South Carolina, developing algorithms for sonar-aided mapping of complex marine and aquatic environments and teaching undergraduate courses. For more than 25 years he has been exploring and mapping seafloor features through SCUBA and ROV-aided inspections, AUV, Hull-Mounted and Towed sonar detection and classification. He served as an Applications Engineer with Teledyne Benthos and Technical Sales Manager for Klein Marine Systems helping explorers throughout the globe to achieve their goals with emphasis on sonar mapping technologies and applications. He has been an active participant in manned, unmanned (remote), and autonomous Naval REA and MCM exercises and contact reporting in support of the US Navy, NATO, and others. His teaching style emphasizes comprehension and experiential learning to develop student/trainee skills and awareness beyond the scripted curriculum.

    Contact this instructor (please mention course name in the subject line)

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