Multibeam Sonar Integrated with ROV Control Software

By Mike Ball / 25 Mar 2020
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Defender ROV with Tritech multibeam sonar

During a trial with the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California, subsea technology specialist Tritech‘s Gemini 1200ik dual-frequency multibeam imaging sonar was integrated with SeeByte’s ROV (remotely operated vehicle) control software CoPilot. The Gemini 1200ik sonar was mounted onboard the Navy’s Videoray MSS Defender ROV, and used to survey a harbour from the dockside.

Tritech’s Gemini 1200ik multibeam imaging sonar offers two operational frequencies, with the ability to switch between low and high frequency as needed. The 720 kHz low frequency setting is designed for target identification and obstacle avoidance at long range, whilst the 1200 kHz high frequency setting provides extremely detailed multibeam images for close-range. Frequencies can be set to automatically switch over at a specific range, and can also be switched manually.

The Gemini 1200ik features the ability to maintain a 120° field of view across both frequencies, which is a first for the Gemini family of multibeam imaging sonars, ensuring the target remains in view when operating at high frequency and at short range. Other upgrades to the Gemini technology have resulted in a 2.4mm range resolution as well as an effective angular resolution of only 0.12°.

SeeByte’s CoPilot software provides automated sonar-based tracking and movement relative to a target, allowing ROVs to inspect with increased
precision. CoPilot has been compatible with previous models in the Gemini family, and now supports the new 1200ik dual frequency sonar.

The trial was completed successfully, gathering high-quality sonar images and proving the compatibility of CoPilot with this new type of sensor with extra dual frequency capabilities. The use of CoPilot also allowed autonomous control of the ROV, enabling the operator to focus on the
target and on collection of high-quality sonar data.

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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
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