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Reson Sea Bat Sonar Tested For Hull Damage Assessment For 258-Ft. SuperCat

The Deep Ocean Systems Branch of the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Annapolis, Md. performed tests this month to evaluate deployable systems for a hull-crawling underwater vehicle for ship hull damage assessment to be performed by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), including Reson's SeaBat 9001S switchable multi-beam sonar system. The vehicle, conceptualized in part by Battelle and the USCG Research and Development Center, employs a suite of underwater sen- sors designed to detect damage to ship hulls in a wider range of environments and conditions.

The USCG Research and Development Center in Groton, Conn, contracted to lease the Reson SeaBat 900 IS to be tested by the NSWC for possible use on the vehicle.

Tests were performed in an underwater acoustic tank maintained by NSWC, as well as several outdoor basins. Mounted on a Phantom ROY, the SeaBat 900 IS was evaluated for its capabilities as an obstacle avoidance system, as well as for a hullproofing system for rapid assessment of a ship's hull damage. The SeaBat 9001S can be toggled between Forward-Looking and Bathymetric modes.

The first mode enables the user to navigate a moving vehicle underwater at rapid speeds without distortion of the field of view. The Bathymetric mode provides a wide profile of the ship's hull and updates data at a rate of 30 times per second. Stored to an on-board computer, the collected data can be replayed to provide the user with a 3-D view of the ship's hull, displaying dents, holes, and tears to the surface. SeaBat sonar units have recently been sold to HAM dredging in Holland and to the Port of Harwich, U.K.

 
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