Kraken Delivers Real Time Sonar Signal Processor

By Michelle Howard
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Kraken’s Real Time Synthetic Aperture Sonar Signal Processor. Coffee cup used for scale.

Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. has announced  that Sea Acceptance Testing of its Embedded Real Time Synthetic Aperture Sonar (RTSAS) Signal Processor for Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organization (DSTO) was a success.  


In 2013 DSTO procured an AquaPix Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar system from Kraken for research related to enhancing mine detection and neutralization techniques using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). As their research advanced, DSTO scientists required a real-time sonar signal processing capability embedded directly onboard their REMUS 600 AUV. In real-time signal processing, the analyzed (input) and generated (output) samples can be processed continuously.


DSTO is also developing automatic target recognition algorithms to identify naval mines. Moving the algorithms directly onboard the AUV eliminates the requirement for data post-processing and has the potential to significantly increase the speed of operation for mine countermeasures. The key to fulfilling this objective is the capability to process the sonar data onboard the vehicle in near real-time, while producing detailed 3D imagery of the seafloor.


Kraken’s RTSAS is a rugged, small-form-factor subsystem that incorporates an NVIDIA Kepler GPU. This kind of graphics processing capability is increasingly being applied in the aerospace and defense industry for complex digital signal processing. The RTSAS architecture has been designed from the ground up not just for maximum imaging performance but optimal performance per watt. The result is world class performance and the highest image quality in an elegant and power efficient unit.


In essence, the GPU acts as a massively parallel embedded processor for Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) data. SAS provides ultra-high seafloor image resolution at significantly longer ranges than conventional sonar. This is done by replacing traditional sonar hardware with sophisticated signal processing software.



“We are very pleased to announce that we are now shipping our new RTSAS module,” said Karl Kenny, President and CEO for Kraken Sonar Systems Inc. “We’re continuing to build the performance innovations that our customers demand for their mission-critical sonar applications. We’re also delighted to continue our scientific and technological collaboration with DSTO.”

 


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