Why Choose Cygnus


Cygnus Instruments is a privately owned company based in the South West of the UK. Our business has its original roots in the Non Destructive Testing of large ships’ hulls and other maritime vessels.

Fast forward to today and we have now been selling ultrasonic testing (UT) equipment in to all industries on all continents for decades.

Our early years that were spent specializing in providing ruggedized and simple to use units for ship surveyors and then commercial divers has had a lasting effect on the DNA of the company; every single one of the products Cygnus manufactures remains extremely robust and is designed (and tested) to deal with the very harshest of environments. In addition, Reliability, Accuracy and Ease of Use together form the central mantra that guides all our R&D.

We believe we are now the true experts in delivering the very best and most accurate ultrasonic inspection equipment that has simplicity of use at its heart.

Why Choose us? Because like our equipment, we have stood the test of time. And that time has imbued the company with an enormous experience that means our customers get the very best UT equipment.


In the 1970s, the NDT and inspection of shipping (as demanded by IACS and all the major Classification Societies) was conducted using what we would now consider to be very heavy and outdated equipment: incredibly, rope access technicians would lower themselves in to empty cargo ships and oil tankers with a cathode ray set strapped to their fronts!

The founder of Cygnus was himself a shipping surveyor and, realizing there was a better way, he set about digitizing the ultrasonic equipment based out of small offices in Dorchester in the South West of the UK.

The idea of the “multiple echo” UT technique was born at the same time here in Dorchester, England. Next, IACS and the Class Societies immediately saw the value of a gauge that could read reliably and repeatedly “through” thick marine coatings; and as such, the multi-echo technique is still specified by IACS today – and is still at the forefront of every Cygnus UT gauge.

This is a real testament to Cygnus’ innovation – that has also stood the test of time.


We are very proud of the roots we have in marine inspection services; but as we have grown, so has our range of products.

We have always believed in investing heavily in market research and in R&D. We believe in a user-focused approach that means our development is all application driven. For this reason we put huge emphasis on listening to customer requirements and feedback.

As a result of all many years of research, development and continued investment Cygnus has set and raised the standard for accurate thickness measurement devices. Our product range today includes Single-Echo and Echo-Echo measuring modes, high-end data loggers and units with live waveforms (A-Scans).

And now our ultrasonic thickness gauges are utilized in almost all industries including:

Remaining within the scope of using ultrasound for inspection, we have also developed the Hatch Sure, an ultrasonic hatch cover tightness tester. Used predominantly for checking hatches on bulk carriers it also has many other applications such as water-tight door testing.

And lastly and most recently, Cygnus also manufactures a Flooded Member Detection unit; the UT FMD unit honors all of the Cygnus history and draws on all the experiences we have learned over many years making equipment for the toughest environments. It is hugely robust, gives extremely accurate results, is polyvalent (can be used by a diver or ROV) – and is beautifully simple to use.


Cygnus is an ISO-9001 certified company. On account of this and our intrinsically safe certifications (EX Veritas and CSA), we are held (and we hold ourselves) to the highest standards.