Kraken Sonar Inc. has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc., has been awarded a repeat contract valued at over C$400,000 by a European defence contractor. Kraken will supply and integrate its AquaPix Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar and Real-Time SAS Signal Processor on the customer’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV).
AquaPix is designed for operation on AUVs, manned and unmanned surface vessels and towed platforms. The modular system uses state-of-the-art electronics, transducer arrays and signal processing software optimized for the demanding size, weight, power and cost constraints of unmanned maritime vehicles.
Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO said, “We are very pleased with this repeat contract award from a long-standing customer. AquaPix is an industry leading sonar system providing military grade technology that enables superior 3D seabed imaging, faster data processing and a lower cost than competing sonars. With the increasing international focus on AUV technology, Kraken is well-positioned in this high-priority, high-potential growth area.”
Conventional side scan systems are limited in that they only provide high resolution imagery at short ranges. AquaPix produces ultra high-resolution seabed imagery at long ranges. The additional information provided by AquaPix delivers detection and identification capabilities that cannot be achieved with conventional sidescan sonar. While AquaPix can provide 3 centimetre resolution at ranges up to 300 metres per side, the resolution of even the best side scan sonars is 1 metre or greater at these ranges. Higher resolution allows AquaPix to provide useable area coverage rates up to 10 times better than that of conventional sidescan, which reduces mission time and provides faster actionable intelligence.
AquaPix also generates highly accurate 3D bathymetry data that is registered and geo-referenced to the same pixel grid co-ordinates as the imagery. Operators can simultaneously produce crisp seabed imagery and detailed 3D digital terrain maps of seafloor topography that exceed IHO SP-44 survey standards. The capability of generating centimetre-scale resolution in all three spatial domains also provides significant performance improvements in the detection, classification and identification of small seabed objects.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles are often utilised as sonar platforms and also can provide an extremely stable platform for acoustic and laser imaging in a variety of water depths. Equipped with next-generation sensors such as Kraken’s AquaPix and SeaVision, AUVs are ideal for a wide variety of underwater defence, commercial and ocean science applications.