Farsounder forward looking sonar

Three dimensional

With their recently released SonaSoft 4.0, Farsounder has solidified themselves as the leaders in marine 3D Forward Looking Sonar systems

Superyacht captains are often called upon to bring passengers close to nature, be that alongside glaciers in high latitudes or past coral reefs in tropical lagoons. Sometimes their itineraries may also include avoiding parts of the natural world such as whales. Avoiding a strike with any of these dangers while bringing the passengers where they want to be can be challenging. Captains can recognise the value of having a 3D Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) to show them what is ahead under the water in real time when trying to deliver an exclusive experience.

Farsounder forward looking sonarOne might ask ‘Why can’t these yachts simply use electronic nautical charts (ENCs) as a map to avoid underwater obstacles?’ Though digital charts might seem the obvious answer, this solution is limited because so much of the world’s oceans are poorly mapped or even completely unmapped. The latest announcement by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco during the most recent International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Assembly of the GEBCO world map, puts the tally at just under 25% of the world’s oceans being mapped. However, this coverage rate is only at 100 metre resolution (which is not good enough for navigation) and much of the collected data is from old surveys using outdated approaches prone to large errors.

Globally, less than 10% of the ocean has been mapped using modern technology. The US can boast that it has mapped about 52% of its waters, yet only about 35% has been mapped with modern methods. In littoral waters, only about 50% have been mapped globally. These are the specific locations where underwater obstacles pose the greatest threat and yachts venturing off the beaten track are likely to spend much of their time in poorly charted or uncharted regions. Furthermore, ENCs cannot account for transient obstacles such as whales, ice, and containers, all of which are critical to avoid when underway. Plus in many shallow water locations, the seafloor changes with the seasons and after natural disasters.

Farsounder forward looking sonarFarSounder’s Argos 3D Forward Looking Navigation Sonars are the most effective way to truly know what lies ahead of your yacht along the bottom and in the water column. With detection ranges out to 1000m, Argos sonars give yachts ample time to see hazards ahead, from the water’s surface down to the seafloor with a fast update rate, wide field-of-view and an intuitive user-interface.

The software includes both a 3D view and chart overlay view. The 3D view displays both realtime forward looking information ahead of the vessel as well as a local history map covering everywhere the vessel has traveled. The chart view employs modern data fusion techniques to provide clear situational awareness that is quick to understand. At the base of this view are standard S57/S63 format ENCs with real-time 3D forward looking sonar data, local history mapping data, AIS and ARPA overlay layers.

By combining information from multiple sources, the bridge crew can quickly understand their complete navigation picture and easily correlate the information. When sonar detections match the chart, you can have high confidence in the historic chart data. However, more importantly, when the sonar doesn’t match the chart, the AIS, ARPA, and sonar overlays, this allows the bridge crew to easily identify the hazards ahead.

With its latest software release, the SonaSoft 4.0, the new Auto Zoom improves clarity in very shallow water and streamlines the 2D Profile View for more accurate depth readings.

FarSounder has continually pushed the boundaries of its innovation and is changing the way yachts explore by enhancing their navigation toolbox with the latest technology.

For more details visit www.farsounder.com