FarSounder Forward-Looking 3D Sonar System

Collisions and groundings cost vessel owners billions of dollars of damage annually. Vessel Captains and navigators are often confronted with hazards, such as:yacht on rocks

  • Navigation in unfamiliar or poorly charted waters
  • Ice- at and below the surface
  • Coral reefs in tropical waters
  • Sandbars at sea or in lakes and waterways
  • Submerged shipping containers or other submerged navigation hazards
  • Whales and other marine mammals

The FarSounder Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) offers an additional benefit to safe navigation. With a wide field of view, up to 25 knots operational speed, 3D image, complete update on a single ping and operates at full range even in shallow water, FarSounder's FLS provide real time navigation information  ahead of the vessel at significant ranges.

Delivering the three critical readings required for obstacle avoidance: range, bearing, and depth, FarSounder continues to challenge the boundaries of sonar technology to provide vessel operators with a practical addition to navigation safety.

Finding the Cape Fear Shipwreck   Approaching a Pier Corner  

FarSounder Applications

FarSounder's products can be used in a variety of applications for obstacle avoidance and shallow water navigation. A few examples applications are listed below.

yacht

Yachts

Since the Company's inception, FarSounder has recognized the need to supply the high end yacht market with a valuable navigation tool. FarSounder's navigation products allow you to navigate shallow reefs and shoals with safety and confidence and let you into the most secluded waters. Now FarSounder's state-of-the-art Ship Protection System offers 360º protection while your yacht is at anchor. This fixed installation, no moving parts system offers Zero Time to Deploy, Zero Time to Secure™ protection while also offering navigation capabilities while underway.cruise ship

Passenger Vessels

FarSounder navigation products offer an added degree of safety for passenger vessels such as ferries and cruise ships. Exploration vessels operating in remote areas of the world are especially vulnerable to ice and shallow shoals while also far from rescue ships. In addition, the FarSounder 360º security Ship Protection System offers security and peace of mind to passengers while at anchor in foreign ports.

Commercialtanker

FarSounder low-maintenance products offer the commercial workboat, offshore, inland barge, and fishing industries an unprecedented navigation and obstacle avoidance system as well as a working tool for marine applications. The systems are appropriate for OSVs, survey vessels, articulated barges, crew ships, oil spill response vessels and other specialty boats.

Environmental

Environmental and marine life concerns are growing considerations within the maritime world. Using the FarSounder sonar systems can reduce the likelihood of high impact environmental disasters such as oil spills, reef groundings and whale strikes, and can provide a positive social whale breachingimpact in helping to safe guard the environment. Protecting whales, manatees and other precious species are important and are often mandated by regulatory bodies. Charts and radar provide no protection from or for whales, which can severely damage a ship operating at speed, while also harming or killing the whale.

Security

FarSounder’s ability to monitor large areas for underwater threats at night and in adverse weather conditions provides mariners with a degree ofpowerboat security that is unparalleled. Products include both COTS and custom solutions for diver detection, diver localization and ship and shoreline protection.

FarSounder's state-of-the-art Ship Protection System offers 360º protection while at anchor or at the dock. Based on the FarSounder-500, this system offers Zero Time to Deploy, Zero Time to Secure™ while also offering navigation capabilities while underway. This fixed installation, no moving parts system has detection, tracking, classification and alarm algorithms with an innovative operator interface.

Please watch the video below to learn more about FarSounder

 

True Target MotionTM

Improving situational awareness of obstacles below the sea surface is the reason we developed our 3D forward looking sonars. True Target Motion™ is our latest innovation for improving upon that awareness. This new software feature combines inputs from the ship’s heading and GPS sensors with our navigation sonar data to animate the movement of detected sonar targets relative to the vessel between each ping. Without True Target Motion™ the position of each sonar target can only be updated once every ping. Now, target positions are updated as the vessel moves between pings.

Continually Improving Situational Awareness

FarSounder’s True Target Motion™ capabilities are available in the current version of the SonaSoft software. For existing users, upgrading is free and easy.

In addition to all of the other improved processing and display improvements you'll see by updating, True Target Motion™ will enhance the real-time nature of both your 3D bathymetric display and your navigational chart overlay. To new customers, this feature should simply be a very natural extension of the already intuitive way your FarSounder sonar improves your underwater navigational awareness.

Installation Requirements

To enable this option, heading, rate of turn, speed over ground, course over ground, and latitude / longitude must be provided to the FarSounder software via standard NMEA 0183 messages. Rate of turn must be provided at 10 Hz or faster while other messages must be provided at 1 Hz or faster.

The software also requires a FarSounder bridge computer with suitable processing capabilities. 

 

           Without True Target Motion, the location of targets is updated once every ping. The different color outlines represent data from separate pings.

     With True Target Motion the target locations are updated continually based upon vessel motion independent of the ping update rate. The different color outlines still represent data from separate pings.

 

View the following video to see how True Target MotionTM works

 

FarSounder is Compatible with ECDIS

FarSounder is compatible with a number of electronic charting systems including Wartsila SAM Electronics, Transas, and Jeppsen.

To read about how FarSounder can be integrated with ECDIS please click on this link to read a recent article from Maritime Executive.

 

 

FarSounder Products

FarSounder-500 Navigation Sonar

The FarSounder-500 Navigation Sonar is a 3D forward looking sonar offering users navigation information out to over 1/4 nautical mile (500 meters) ahead of the vessel.

System Componentsfarsounder 500

The FarSounder-500 system includes:

  • Rugged stainless steel Transducer Module with underwater wet mateable connector.

  • Rack mounted Power Module

  • Waterproof connection cable

  • SonaSoft user interface software

  • Marinized bridge computer (optional)

Transducer Elements

The Transducer Module's array face includes 96 receivers with a separate transmitter. These arrays are encapsulated in a rugged urethane designed to provide years of protection to the transducer elements.

Installation

Typical installation of the FarSounder-500 includes integrating a Transducer Module fairing into the hull and mounting the Power Module inside the vessel. Check out the FarSounder installation gallery for examples of installations on various hull types. FarSounder provides complimentary engineering support with advice on hull integration designs and drawing review services. 

Contact the FarSounder engineering staff to request a copy of the Installation Design Guide.

 

FarSounder-1000 Navigation Sonar

The FarSounder-1000 is FarSounder's flagship navigation sonar. It offers users 3D forward looking navigation information out to 1/2 nautical mile (1000 meters) ahead of the vessel.

Extended Range Capabilities

FarSounder's latest navigation product offers the user the ability to select between a wide field-of-view or an extended range mode. The system can operate with a 90° field-of-view out to 1500' (500 meters) range or a 60° field-of-view out to 3000' (1000 meters) range.

System Components

The FarSounder-1000 system includes:

  • Rugged stainless steel Transducer Module with underwater wet matable connector

  • Power Module in rack-mountable chassis

  • Waterproof connection cable

  • SonaSoft user interface software

  • Marinized bridge computer

Transducer ElementsSH6 Transducer Module

The Transducer Module's array face includes nearly 200 receivers and a separate transmitter. The array is encapsulated in a rugged urethane designed to provide years of protection to the transducer elements. Above and below the urethane are thin steel plates to provide added protection from debris and the anchor chain.

The FarSounder-1000 is available with the SH6 Transducer Module shown to the right.

 

Installation

Typical installation of the FarSounder-1000 includes integrating a Transducer Module fairing into the hull and mounting the Power Module inside the vessel. Check out our installation gallery for examples of installations on various hull types. FarSounder provides complimentary engineering support with advice on hull integration designs and drawing review services. Contact our engineering staff to request a copy of our Installation Design Guide.

Software Update in Q4 of 2014

There was an exciting software in the FarSounder navigation sonars in Q4 of 2014. Below is some video of the display which will be by far the most advanced forward looking sonar available.

 Passing the Dumplings

Across the bay from Newport, RI is the rocky coast of Jamestown. Here we find a series of small rocky islands and shoals called “The Dumplings”. The following video was made with the new software running a FarSounder-1000 sonar. Notice how with color set to depth, the shallow shoals to the port side are clearly imaged in yellows and orange. In the second half of the video, note that the sonar sees a clear ledge colored blue (for deep) to starboard that is not marked on the chart. The sonar was set to 200 meters maximum range to emphasize its shallow water bottom mapping capabilities. All processing settings were set to automatic. The video is running at 3x actual speed.

 

Running Towards Castle Hill

In this next video, we’re running along the south western coast of Newport. In this area, the bay gets very deep, very quickly. The video shows the sonar’s 3D capabilities, again with color mapped to depth. The water is deep on the starboard side of the vessel and rises up quickly to shore on the port side. The sonar’s bottom mapping range is dictated by its water depth capability as clearly illustrated in this example. Again, the video is running at 3x actual speed.

Returning to Newport Harbour

Heading to the dock at Newport Shipyard where we picked up and dropped off our guests for the demo, we’ve set the sonar to 500 meters range (¼ nautical mile) with a 90° field-of-view. The sonar processor is set to autosquelch and the system is picking up lots of docks. The sonar is detecting reflections off of the docks’ pilings and floats. Near the end of the video, the system is even imaging a series of floating docks that are not marked on the chart. Once again, the video is running at 3x actual speed.

If you are interested in having the advantage of FarSounder on your vessel, contact John Edwards through our Contact page.

 

FS-SPS: Ship Protection System

FarSounder security products see underwater threats regardless of the water's clarity. Attached to the hull, there is nothing to deploy. When a threat is detected, no time is wasted retrieving the system; allowing you to focus on your next move.

The FarSounder Ship Protection System is a unique multi-sensor solution with 360º coverage using fixed in-hull sensors. This multi-use system provides underwater threat detection while at anchor and navigation sonar while underway. The system is based on FarSounder's patented sonar technology which produces a complete 3D image with a single ping!

Underwater Threat Detection

System capabilities include 360º detection of divers and other threats with automatic detection, tracking, classification and alarm algorithms. The technology has been optimized for challenging and shallow environments. The display offers electronic overlays and can differentiate between divers and other benign objects such as marine animals, with minimal false alarms. Watch more video here.

Forward Looking Navigation

When underway, the system can be used in a navigation mode. In this mode, system capabilities parallel that of the FarSounder-1000 with maximum range out to 1000 m (1/2 nm).

The FarSounder Advantage

Some of the advantages of FarSounder's Ship Protection System over a drop down system include:

  • No moving parts: no mechanical moving parts to maintain

  • Nothing protruding below the hull: system can be deployed in very shallow water

  • No internal space usage: as would be the case with a hydraulic hoist deployed system

  • Instantaneous operation: no time required to lower or raise the system

  • Vessel can get underway immediately after a threat is identified: a hydraulic hoist will have very limited speed capability

  • Same ease of maintenance as the FarSounder navigation systems: the transducer can be easily removed by a diver for cleaning or maintenance

  • Includes an added benefit: includes a 3D FLS navigation sonar while underway

 Zero Time to Deploy, Zero Time to Secure™

If you are interested in any of the FarSounder sonar products contact John Edwards through our Contact page.

More information and videos can be found on the FarSounder website at http://www.farsounder.com farsounder logo

To download a brochure about the FarSounder sonar products click on the following links:

FarSounder Forward-Looking 3D Sonar        FarSounder Ship Protection System