Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. announced that its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, Rhode Island was successful.
NUWC Division Newport is one of two divisions of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center. Its mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems and countermeasures.
In October 2012, NUWC Division Newport and Kraken entered into a CRADA to evaluate the performance of Kraken’s AquaPix Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (InSAS) deployed from a REMUS 600 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) owned and operated by NUWC.
During 26 AUV missions NUWC and Kraken collected significant amounts of sonar data in Narragansett Bay and in Block Island Sound against both deployed targets and targets of opportunity.
Kraken’s AquaPix sonar demonstrated the capability of generating high resolution imagery to ranges as distant as 200 meters from the sensor. The sonar also demonstrated the capability of generating bathymetry that correlated well with corresponding SAS imagery and compared favorably with bottom maps obtained from an independent bathymetric survey. These test results demonstrated the suitability of a REMUS 600 AUV for hosting an AquaPix InSAS sensor capable of generating wide swath high resolution imagery and bathymetry.
"The CRADA with NUWC was an important test and evaluation of our AquaPix imaging sonar," said Karl Kenny, President and CEO of Kraken. “We are very pleased to have demonstrated the mature performance of our system. These results will give customers an added degree of confidence in deploying Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar solutions.”
Kraken’s AquaPix provides much higher resolution imagery at greater ranges than conventional side scan sonars, the company said. This is done by replacing traditional sonar hardware with sophisticated signal processing software. The principle of Synthetic Aperture Sonar is that the transducer array length is “synthesized” up to 25 times longer than its actual physical length.
Kraken said its Synthetic Aperture Sonar provides image quality unmatched by conventional sonars and is a key technology whenever high resolution seabed imagery is required. Kraken’s AquaPix generates detailed 3cm resolution images at ranges to over 200m. In addition, Interferometric SAS can simultaneously deliver 3D bathymetric imagery that enables precision digital terrain models of the seabed. The highly accurate bathymetric data provided by the AquaPix InSAS exceeds IHO S44 special order requirements.