Kraken Robotics developed a real-time synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) system that has been integrated and tested onboard a US Navy REMUS 600 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) operated by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Rhode Island.
“Kraken is proud to have developed an AUV solution for real-time, ultra high-resolution imaging and 3D mapping of the seafloor,” said Karl Kenny, Kraken’s president and CEO.
“We expect this technology will revolutionize the way in which big data from synthetic aperture sonar imagery and bathymetry is processed. We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to our colleagues at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center for their support in deployment and testing of our solution on their REMUS 600 AUV.”
At least 5cm of target pixel resolution is required for effective minehunting. This can be achieved with synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) to ranges of over 250 metres. The SAS can provide up to 10 times the range and area coverage rates of conventional side scan sonar.
According to Kraken, it is particularly well suited for AUVs and industry experts predict that SAS will replace conventional side scan sonars for many military applications. SAS technology is also said to have potential in other underwater imaging applications including offshore energy, seabed surveying, marine archaeology, debris mapping and search and salvage operations.
Kenny added: “The major concern of mine countermeasures is to keep sailors far away from the mine threat while having a high level of confidence in the detection and classification of possible threats. Real-time SAS signal processing onboard an AUV is a significant step forward from the current approach. Kraken’s real-time SAS can increase safety, improve operational efficiency, reduce the mission risk of missing mines and significantly reduce and/or eliminate post mission analysis time.”
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