The standard-target method used to calibrate scientific echo sounders and other scientific sonars by a single, solid elastic sphere is being adapted to acoustic backscatter (ABS) systems. Its first application, to the AQUAscat 1000, is described. The on-axis sensitivity and directional properties of transducer beams at three operating frequencies, nominally 1, 2.5, and 4 MHz, have been determined using a 10-mm-diameter sphere of tungsten carbide with 6% cobalt binder. Preliminary results are reported for the 1-MHz transducer. Their application to measurements of suspended sediment made in situ with the same device is described. This will enable the data to be expressed directly in physical units of volume backscattering.