Kraken Announces KATFISH Sonar Platform

By Mike Ball / 23 Jul 2015

Kraken Sonar KATFISHKraken Sonar Inc., a developer of Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) technology, has announced the development of KATFISH (Kraken Active Tow FISH), a sonar platform for military and commercial applications.

The primary objective of the KATFISH project is to develop an actively controlled, intelligent towfish as a platform for real-time ultra-high resolution seabed mapping system, based on Kraken’s Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (MINSAS) technology and Real-Time SAS Processing algorithms.

The KATFISH system is comprised of an actively controlled smart towfish, winch and handling subsystem and operator console. The winch and handling subsystem provides the capability to launch, tow, recover and stow the tow fish. The entire system is designed to be quickly installed and removed from craft of opportunity platforms and is packaged for easy transportation.

Conventional side scan systems are limited in that they only provide high resolution imagery at short range. KATFISH produces ultra-high resolution seabed imagery with constant resolution to full range. The additional information provided by KATFISH delivers a detection and classification capability that cannot be achieved with a conventional sidescan sonar.

KATFISH also generates highly accurate bathymetry data that is co-registered and geo-referenced to the same pixel grid co-ordinates as the imagery. Operators can produce crisp seabed imagery and detailed 3D digital terrain maps of seafloor topography that exceed IHO SP-44 survey standards.

The capability of generating centimeter-scale resolution in 3D also provides significant performance improvements in the detection, classification and identification of small seabed objects.

The KATFISH system also implements an innovative SAS gap filler transmitter that produces high resolution data in the nadir region. The system uses two rows of identical receiver elements to deliver bathymetry. An additional lower frequency transmit element, unique to KATFISH, provides a SAS resolution gap fill directly under the platform.

Sonar data is transferred from the transceiver to the processing unit via a Gigabit Ethernet network interface. The sonar operation is controlled from a graphical user interface (GUI) on a notebook computer. The operator sets the sonar parameters in the sonar control window, while depth, imagery and other sensor data are captured and displayed by Kraken’s INSIGHT application software.

KATFISH is currently under development and has successfully completed proof-of-concept sea trials. The system is now being commercialized with a series of planned technical milestones.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact