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Interferometric Synthetic Aperature Sonar

Powerful Performance for Superior Seabed Imagery

Kraken has successfully developed and deployed a high-resolution Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (InSAS) called AquaPix®. 

AquaPix® is capable of providing detailed seabed images with a constant resolution better than 3cm x 3cm out to a range of 300m from each side of an underwater vehicle (600m swath). It can also produce 3D bathymetric data with a resolution better than 25cm x 25cm out to full range while delivering very high depth accuracy, in compliance with IHO S44 special order requirements.

AquaPix® is designed for use onboard Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remotely Operated Tow Vehicles (ROTVs), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Tow Bodies. It’s modular and scalable design supports variable length arrays, variable platform speeds, variable swath widths and interferometric bathymetric capabilities.

A number of different activities rely on accurate seabed imaging and mapping. Offshore exploration, ocean science, seabed survey, environmental surveillance and military missions are all examples of such applications with increasing demands for high area coverage rates and high resolution imagery.

Typically, two different sensors have been primarily used to date; a side scan sonar for reflectivity images and a multibeam echo-sounder for bathymetric maps. Both of these technologies are limited by their along-track resolution. Another problem is that SSS and MBE often do not cover the same swath. This further decreases the area coverage rate – and leads to increased cost - since many of the areas have to be surveyed multiple times to ensure full coverage.


See More Depth, Detail and Definition

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (InSAS) overcomes the resolution, range and operational limitations of conventional sonar technology. InSAS offers the best of both worlds by synchronizing high resolution seabed imagery with precision 3D bathymetry. Two vertically separated sonar receiver arrays enable production of detailed bathymetric maps co-registered with the SAS imagery. This allows bathymetric measurement out to full range, and thus significantly faster mapping operations.

Providing an unparalleled level of image uniformity and detail, AquaPix® utilizes military-proven SAS algorithms and robust sonar design. It’s a complete system solution that provides cost-effective and ultra-high resolution imagery ideal for naval mine countermeasures, hydrographic survey, subsea surveillance of strategic assets, habitat mapping, cable and pipeline route survey and a wide variety of other seabed imaging applications.

AquaPix® provides ultra-high resolution imagery and superior swath coverage compared to conventional side scan sonar.

A Compelling Price and Performance Value Proposition

AquaPix® utilizes military-proven SAS algorithms and robust sonar designs that feature advanced signal processing software and the latest in micro-electronics technology. The system provides very cost-effective and ultra-high resolution imagery that’s ideal for mine countermeasures, Q-route surveys, wreck searches, cable route survey, pipeline survey and a wide variety of other seabed imaging missions.

Features & Capabilities

  • Ultra-high resolution - 3cm across entire swath
  • Superior area coverage rate
  • Swath widths of up to 600m – 15x sonar altitude
  • Low to high speed operation
  • Shallow water to full ocean depth (option)
  • Co-registered imagery and 3D bathymetry
  • No need for expensive inertial navigation system
  • Advanced sonar array design mitigates multipath
  • Very tolerant of UUV yaw / crabbing action

Operational Benefits

  • Lowest total cost of ownership
  • Modular design integrates to AUV, ROV, ROTV and towfish
  • Superior image resolution and area coverage rate over SSS
  • High speed collection of geo-referenced data
  • Compliant to IHO SP44 hydrographic survey standard
  • Interfaces to industry-standard visualization software
  • SAS image processing operates 2x real-time
  • Enables in-stride ATR for enhanced operational performance
  • Robust sonar design uses latest technologies