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FarSounder grant for long-range sonar

  • Friday, 19 October 2007 | News

Sonar company FarSounder has been awarded a $2 million grant from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for work to develop a long range/high speed navigation and obstacle avoidance sonar.

The company plans to develop a forward looking navigation and collision avoidance sonar system, providing real-time 3-dimensional location (bearing, range, depth) of obstacles at distances up to 3.2km (2 miles) for vessels travelling at up to 65 km/hr (35 knots).

FarSounder says that the sonar would allow for faster operation through more direct transit routes, with reduced risk of groundings or collisions with floating objects. In addition, growing concerns regarding marine mammal mitigation could be alleviated by using this technology.

This 2.75 year, $2M project will require work on a number of technological innovations, including the development of high-speed signal processing algorithms to compensate for the ship's motion, the changing acoustic environment and background noise at high speeds and development of other signal processing methodologies which would extend the state of the art for sonar signal processing.

FarSounder estimates that when fully deployed such a system could reap economic benefits of up to $500 million a year through increased efficiency, reduced insurance costs, and reduced accident rates, in addition to the benefits of increased passenger safety and reduced environmental damage.

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