Unmanned Systems News

Nadir Gap-Fill Sonar for UUVs & USVs

Published: 12 Oct 2021 by

Edgetech UUV and USV sonarEdgeTech has recently introduced an innovative method of providing nadir gap coverage for the company’s EdgeTech 2205 sonar platforms, incorporating Chesapeake Technology’s SonarWiz software that provides processing and mosaicking for the new gap-fill solution.

The 2205 system with gap-fill technology has been designed specifically for platforms operating in shallow water or within close proximity to the bottom, such as USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles). The new 2205 system is available in a number of dual and tri-frequency configurations and the gap fill technology is available in a number of frequency options. The most popular frequency set, the 850kHz and 1600kHz dual frequency combination, is ideal for high resolution side scan sonar surveys where the nadir gap can now be filled with data while the vehicle performs single pass survey operations.

EdgeTech’s gap-fill solution features the unique ability to “see” the nadir gap from both the left and right sides, providing shadows from either direction, as well as in a three-dimensional aspect in the nadir gap. Gap fill shadows are perpendicular to the vehicle’s path and consistent with traditional side scan methods enabling easy interpretation of data. Additionally, gap fill data in the 2205 system is coincident with the side scan data and is therefore geospatially the same, unlike other solutions that look forward and across the vehicle path making target positions between the side scan and gap fill data less robust. The area directly below the vehicle, until now often lacking in coverage, can now be viewed with the gap data mosaicked right into the main sidescan sonar display using SonarWiz. The data combination removes the digital seam seen at the sidescan nadir, and SonarWiz makes a GeoTIFF image of the seafloor with the data set.

The EdgeTech 2205 is a compact, flexible and configurable sonar system for integration on third party underwater and surface vehicles. The modular unit can be configured based on specific applications, to collect side scan sonar imagery, sub-bottom profiles and bathymetric data, singly or in conjunction with one another. The system is available either as packaged electronics enclosed in a pressure vessel, or as core electronics boards mounted onto a chassis so that the user can integrate the system into their vehicle’s dry electronics area. Two transducer arrays, one on each side of the vehicle, provide side scan sonar, gap-fill and bathymetry, and an optional sub-bottom profiler is also available. The system can operate independently of the hosted platform by simply storing the data, or it can be configured to autonomously interoperate with the vehicle during its mission.

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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