Success Stories – Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.

The Company

Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd., located in Port Coquitlam, B.C., is a global leader in the design of underwater acoustic instrumentation with over 40 years of product development and manufacturing experience. Characterized by strong engineering capabilities and a staff of 47 personnel, Kongsberg Mesotech provides customers with reliable and leading-edge sonar equipment and post-processing analysis and interpretation services to support decision making in a wide variety of applications.

The company supplies a worldwide customer base with products for search and recovery, marine engineering, security and surveillance, fisheries and various other scientific applications. It also provides an extensive support network including training, product support and assistance with applications and data analysis.

Kongsberg Mesotech is the Canadian subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, a leader in the marine instrumentation and subsea industries. Kongsberg Maritime itself is a division of Kongsberg Gruppen (Group), an international corporation with over 7,000 employees in 25 countries with headquarters in Norway.

The Project

Over the seven year period (2009-2016), the $5 million SADI funded initiative allowed Kongsberg Mesotech to embark upon the development of the next generation of submersible acoustic equipment (both single and multibeam sonar technologies) supporting port and asset security and surveillance applications. More specifically, the systems can effectively address challenges related to detection and classification of divers, swimmer delivery vehicles (SDV) and submarines as well as offer surveillance capabilities for berth security and detection of explosives/narcotics attached to a ship's hulls. The technologies also have wider applications in seabed mapping, fisheries and marine infrastructure.


The SADI project has allowed Kongsberg Mesotech to offer its customers products which are based on innovations in sonar equipment that are now lighter and flexible, more compact, easier to use, all while delivering superior imagery and quality data. The multibeam M3 Sonar® developed under this project, is unique in that it is able to combine the rapid refresh rate of conventional multibeam sonar with image quality comparable to a single-beam sonar. More specifically, its high update rate, significant time savings during operations, uniform large coverage area, low power consumption, flexibility, and its user friendly interface further differentiates in the market place.

In addition, Kongsberg Mesotech has grown its skills in the design and manufacture of composite transducers (a key component in sonar instrumentation) which offer the advantage of significantly increased sensitivity over comparable conventional elements while maintaining broad bandwidth and a relatively fast pulse recovery time.

These products support a flexible and solution-driven approach to customer service and this has subsequently resulted in numerous new customers beyond Kongsberg Mesotech’s established security and surveillance client base. To date, the results of the SADI project activities have successfully generated over $7 million in sales revenue for Kongsberg Mesotech in its traditional security markets as well as underwater search and recovery, site inspections (bridge piles, hydro dams) and underwater (rivers and oceans) surveying.

It is important that we get to the market first, we are not the only supplier in the world, and we needed to differentiate ourselves in the market by offering more applications, quality data and a wider range of frequencies, all of which were achieved with SADI R&D activitie.

Nader Riahi, President, Kongsberg Mesotech

Kongsberg Mesotech has also received one patent and one trademark as a result of the SADI project which include: a patented acoustic lens technology that enhances sound quality in much the same way that an optical lens focuses light; and a registered trademark for the new M3 Sonar®, which delivers superior quality data and imagery with lightweight and flexible operations. Both of these innovative advantages allow Kongsberg Mesotech to offer unique performance improvements and efficiencies to its customer base thus improving its overall competitiveness in the market place.

Kongsberg Mesotech has accomplished this by creating and sharing mutual benefits of collaboration with its four university partners and those firms in its local supply chain which have participated in the project. These collaborative efforts have been instrumental in sustaining an innovative and research-driven culture to the company.

Kongsberg' M3 Sonar® Head, developed and launched during the SADI project

Kongsberg' M3 Sonar® Head, developed and launched during the SADI project

In Summary

Improved product utility and leading edge technologies, along with a diversified customer base and increased sales, have resulted from this SADI project. Kongsberg Mesotech has established a strong position in the surveillance market with an existing customer base and has clearly demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the security market. It continues to expand into related areas such as environmental monitoring, marine infrastructure and fisheries.

Kongsberg Mesotech has increased its overall competitiveness in a market where customers demand increasing efficiencies as well as improved post processing capability, image clarity and data quality. Further success will result as the company continues to deliver underwater instrumentation that is easier to use and more reliable in challenging and varied deployments.