881A Azimuth Drive

The Model 881A Azimuth Drive is a rugged and powerful rotary actuator drive that can be coupled to an Imagenex Model 881A Profiling Sonar.  The two axes of rotation in this combined unit provide the capability to obtain accurate, high resolution range information in any direction.  In standard applications, profiles may be made in any direction by simply commanding the Azimuth Drive to rotate the attached profiling sonar anywhere in a circle.  The profiling sonar can then perform a cross-sectional scan before being rotated to a new azimuth angle.  The Azimuth Drive uses the same RS-485 serial communications line and command structure as the profiling head.  A single, simple to use PC compatible computer program operates both, and full communications protocol specifications are provided for designing customized software.

881A Azimuth Drive

Underwater Hardware Specifications

Max. Operating Depth

1000 m and 3000 m available

Max. Cable Length

1000 m on typical twisted shielded pair (RS-485) 


RS-485 serial interface @ 115.2 kbps


Four conductor, wet mateable (Subconn MCBH4M-AS)

Standard Accessories

Azimuth Drive to Sonar Head Interconnect Cable

Power Supply

20 – 36 VDC at 1 Amp max.


89 mm (3.5”) diameter x 445 mm (17.5”) length 

291 mm (11.5”) Cage diameter

Weight in Air

1000 m unit:  7.7 kg (17 lbs)
3000 m unit:  TBA

Weight in Water

1000 m unit:  2.7 kg ( 6 lbs)
3000 m unit:  TBA


6061-T6 Aluminum & 300 Series Stainless Steel



Software Specifications



Windows™ Operating System

Windows™ XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10

Azimuth Angle

0° – 359.7°, 0.3° increments

File Format

(filename).81a, (filename).xyz

Recommended Minimum Computer Requirements

100 MHz Pentium
1 GB Hard Disk
800 x 600 x 256 colour graphics

Ordering Information

1000 m Unit


3000 m Unit


Interface source code in "C" (TESTAZIM.C)

Option               -018

881A Azimuth Drive


  • Programmable
  • Continuous Rotation
  • Suitable for Autonomous or Remote Deployment


  • 3D Precision Surveying
  • Sediment Transport Research
  • Marine Geology
  • Scientific Research 

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