Kraken Robotics Introduces Advanced Synthetic Aperture Sonar for Seabed Survey Operations

Kraken Robotics Inc. has recently announced that it has created a next-generation synthetic aperture sonar, called AquaPix® MINSAS-240 Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS).

For demanding subsea survey missions in mine countermeasures, infrastructure monitoring and oil & gas exploration; time is of the essence.  The sensor that gets the job done most effectively is one that combines ultra-high resolution imagery with an extremely high area coverage rate.  Kraken’s latest development, the AquaPixâ MINSAS-240 sensor, has been designed to advance the state-of-the-art in seabed mapping for both high-speed towed systems and Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (LDUUVs).

Karl Kenny, President and CEO, Kraken Robotics Inc.

The AquaPix® MINSAS-240 Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) accomplishes an industry-leading area coverage rate (ACR) of 5.3 km2/hour with an image resolution of 3.3 cm and a bathymetry resolution of 6.6 cm, across the whole swath. In addition, the remarkably high pixel density sets a new benchmark for seabed image quality. The built-in real-time processor from Kraken Robotics Inc. allows in-stride data analysis to promote faster decision making since all data is processed in real time and at maximum quality setting.

Thanks to the excellent length of the MINSAS-240 receiver array, true full-aperture SAS processing even at tow speeds of around 20 knots can be realized, without having to switch to a lower resolution imaging mode at increased speed.

The AquaPix® MINSAS-240 sensor MINSAS-240 sensor is rated for operating depths of about 6,000 m.

In mine warfare, the chances of identifying and categorizing a target increase with enhancing image resolution, a fact that is well known. In the case of commercial seabed survey operations, the same principle applies more or less. In operations like these, clear imagery is required to indicate the integrity and health of subsea assets. Hence, high ACR is effective only when the resolution of the data being gathered meets the mission’s objectives. Multiples passes are needed at lower resolution settings to confidently identify and classify an object, thus decreasing the effective rate of coverage. By contrast, Kraken’s MINSAS-240, with its combination of range, resolution, and speed, attains the highest effective ACR in the world, mapping the seabed in remarkable clarity, contrast, and detail when every second is important.

A few applications of the AquaPix® MINSAS-240 Synthetic Aperture Sonar include:

  • Marine archaeology
  • Hydrographic survey
  • Underwater defense—MCM, REA, ISR
  • Subsea infrastructure inspection—tidal energy, offshore wind, oil and gas
  • Seabed survey—search and recovery
  • Environmental assessment—offshore asset integrity, leak and seep detection

The AquaPix® MINSAS-240 Synthetic Aperture Sonar is now available and set for integration on a wide range of unmanned underwater platforms.

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