Image of Charles River as Research Lab Charles River as Research Lab
Charles River, Side Scan Sonar Towfish, Martin Klein and Klein Associates, Inc., 1970

The Charles River not only is intimately connected with MIT’s identity, but also has served as a laboratory for the Institute. Faculty and students make constant use of the Charles, perhaps none more so than Harold Edgerton. Famous for his high-speed photographs, Edgerton made equally important contributions to underwater exploration, including the development of side scan sonar technology. In the early 1950s, Edgerton began experimenting with sonar to focus deep-sea photographs. In 1961, when his student Martin Klein (SB ’62) was seeking a senior thesis topic, Edgerton suggested signal processing of his sonar data. The project was so successful that he hired Klein to lead the sonar systems program at EG&G. Klein led the development of the Mark I, the first commercially successful dual-channel side scan sonar. In 1967, Klein left EG&G to form his own company, Klein Associates, Inc., and continued the tradition of testing his equipment in the Charles. On display is the company’s first side scan sonar, the MK-300 (1970).

Gift of L3Com-Klein Associates.

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