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Side scan sonar is one of the most effective tools for underwater exploration because it can search a large area quickly and produce a detailed picture of anything on the bottom, regardless of water clarity.  When looking at a side scan image it appears as if the water has been removed and the operator is getting an unobstructed view of the ocean floor, lake bottom, or river bed.  High resolution images are sent from the towfish to a topside computer (included with the system) for display and storage.  An optional Splash-proof computer is available for small, open boat operations.  Fishers SONAR VIEW software gives the operator complete control over the systems operating parameters.  Choose between 10 different scan ranges and 8 color schemes to display images.  Connect a GPS and position coordinates are automatically captured with the side scan data.  Point the mouse on a target and the GPS position coordinates for the target are displayed on the screen. 

Fishers offer four different side scan systems the SSS-100K, the SSS-600K, the SSS-1200K and the Dual Frequency side scan. The dual frequency side scan is a combination of any two frequencies (ie SSS-100K/600K). There are pros and cons to each frequency as explained below.

  • Low frequency (SSS-100K) units have excellent long range (up to 600m, 1,200m swath) and produce a very good image when scanning with a  50 meter to 600 meter range setting. When operating a low frequency unit in the short ranges (below 50 m) images can be seen but lack the sharpness as seen in the longer ranges. In addition, low frequency units do not see soft targets very well (old wood shipwrecks, drowning victims, etc). The SSS-100K is an ideal tool for large scale general search applications such as searching for shipwrecks, locating pipelines, rocks and reef structures, large propellers, planes, cars, etc. The range settings in meters are: 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 400, and 600 meters (each side).

  • The high frequency SSS-600K side scan produces excellent resolution images when scanning with a 10 meter to 75 meter range setting. The 5 meter range produce good images, but lack the sharpness of the higher ranges. The SSS-600K is ideal for law enforcement and dive rescue operations or any operation that requires a high resolution image.  It produces high resolution images at ranges up to 75m (150m swath.  This high frequency sonar will show everything that the low frequency sonars can see, plus small and soft targets like a drowning victim, clothing, etc, that the lower frequency (100K to 300K) sonars have difficulty detecting.  The 600K side scan is also popular with wreck hunters and archaeologists searching for old wood vessels that may be broken up or decomposing.  The limitation of the 600K is it's shorter range as compared to the 100K side scan. The range settings in meters are: 5, 10, 25, 50, and 75 meters (each side).

  • The very high frequency SSS-1200K side scan produces excellent high resolution images when scanning with a 5 meter to 25 meter range setting.  The SSS-1200K is ideal for law enforcement and dive rescue operations or any operation that requires a very high resolution image.  It producesCurrugated Steel Bulkhead very high resolution images at ranges up to 25m (50m swath).  This very high frequency sonar can show very small, and very soft targets in high detail. The limitation of the 1200K is only it's shorter range as compared to lower frequency side scans. The range settings in meters are: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 meters (each side). The SSS-1200K is best used as part of a dual frequency system such as SSS-600K/1200K where the 600K is used for the search and the 1200K is used for making final close in passes on the target


Our Dual Frequency side scans feature any two of the above frequencies in one towfish. The operator selects which frequency he wants to use depending on the project. Typical combinations are:

SSS-100K/600K - An excellent combination for general purpose side scan work. The 100k would be used when a large search area is involved where the target is not of soft material or small in size. After the target is located, close passes are made using the 600k frequency to produce a high resolution images of the target for analysts.

SSS-600K/1200K - An ideal combination when small or soft targets are the primary use; or when very high detail (hi resolution) is the requirement. The 600k would be used because of it's longer range and once the target is located, close passes are made using the 1200k frequency to produce very high resolution images of the target for analysts.

Currugated Steel Bulkhead

Currugated Steel Bulkhead






All of Fishers side scan sonars come with a 500 foot depth rated towfish, 150 feet of cable, a laptop computer, a GPS,  and Fishers SONAR VIEW software.   The computer displays a real time color image of the ocean floor.  The screen is split down with the middle with the right side showing the ocean bottom on the right side of the vessel, and the left side of the screen shows the ocean bottom on the left side of the vessel.

The SONAR VIEW software gives the side scan operator complete control of all system functions with easy to use pull-down menus and icons on the screen.  Size measurement tool, target height off bottom, annotation, and auto bottom tracking all standard. The operator can change colors, ranges, amplifier gain, and other controls with a click of the mouse.  With the computer, side scan images can be stored in memory for playback and post processing at any time in the future.  Small file sections including screen shots can be copied for emailing.  With the GPS connected to the computer the position coordinates are captured with the side scan data.   Once GPS is connected, the mouse cursor can be placed on any object on the screen and its position coordinates will be displayed.  Sonar files can be stored on the computer's hard drive or to DVD.     Currugated Steel Bulkhead

An optional Sonar Coverage Mapping feature shows the boat's path as it travels over the search area and the sonar coverage swath.  Its all displayed on a grid with latitude and longitude as the X and Y axis. This option makes it easy to search even large areas and ensures no part of the area is missed.  The map can be shown in a separate window on the same screen as the side scan image, or the map can be displayed on a separate monitor.  The user can also control the size of the map. The map can be exported as a image with a KML file to allow it to be easily overlaid on other mapping programs (as shown at  the right). All data can be stored on the PC hard-drive or disk.




An optional splashproof computer with ultra bright display is also available for small, open boat operations.  The splashproof computer is not only great when its wet; on sunny days the ultra bright display makes the screen much easier to see. The splashproof comes with a DVD recorder for file storage.Splash proof PC

More images and information about the side scan software

Download Side Scan data sheet

Splash Proof PC        

Key Features of Fishers side scan sonars:
        Their portability, rugged construction, low cost, and ease of operation.  Four models to choose from.  Larger towfish ensures stability and provides high quality sonar images.  Dual frequency has both high and low frequency transducers in one towfish.  Computer and software included with system.  Fishers SONAR VIEW software provides user with lots of flexibility in displaying and manipulating sonar images.

        Each side scan system is backed by Fishers exclusive, unconditional TWO YEAR warranty.        


  • Extra Cable: $6. /ft
  • CMS-1 Cable Management system (cable reel up to 500'): $2,995.
  • CMS-2 Cable Management system (cable reel up to 4,000'): $3,495.
  • Splash Proof PC (instead of laptop): $3,995.
  • Sonar Coverage Mapping software: $1,995.
  • DDW-1 Deep Dive Wing: $1,295.

Descriptions and pictures of options

Single Frequency Price: $20,995
Dual Frequency Price: $25,995

To purchase, click the 'ORDER' tab on the main menu above.

Datasheets are available for more detailed information about these side scan sonars. Request one via e-mail, through the JWF website, or call the factory. If you have any further questions about the side scan sonars or any of JWFishers other equipment please feel free to call or e-mail. Thank you!

For information on the nearest dealer or to order direct
from the factory, CALL 1-800-822-4744


Ph 800-822-4744; 508-822-7330 | Fax 508-880-8949 |
JW Fishers Mfg - 1953 County St. - E. Taunton, MA 02718 USA