Page 32: of Marine Technology Magazine (March 2016)

Oceanographic Instrumentation: Measurement, Process & Analysis

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Sea? oor Mapping

A High Speed Synthetic Aperture Sonar

Platform for Sea? oor Mapping


By Gina Millar, P.Eng, Program Manager, Underwater Systems, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc.

Despite recent advances in terrestrial mapping and surveil- Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) could be an invaluable tool lance, the sea? oor remains largely uncharted and unexplored. in the future of sea? oor imaging and bathymetry. Conventional

With burgeoning interest in underwater defense and commer- instrumentation, such as sidescan and multibeam sonars, suf- cial applications, the collection of detailed bathymetric data fer from some basic limitations. First, the imaging resolution, is increasingly important. Due to the scarcity of sea? oor data, or the system’s ability to distinguish closely spaced objects, traditional 3D bathymetric charts depicting large area sea? oor is not constant over the entire range and rapidly degrades at coverage are essentially artist renditions. It wasn’t until re- longer ranges. Second, when high-resolution imaging is re- cently that concerted efforts in the public and classi? ed do- quired, the area coverage rate (ACR) of conventional sonars mains have been made to compile bathymetric data to produce is exceedingly low. These limitations could theoretically be higher resolution 3D digital terrain models of the sea? oor. overcome by increasing the length of the array, or “aperture.”

KATFISH prototype and technology demon- strator system undergoing sea trials.

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