Wavefront Systems, in partnership with Sonardyne International, have applied decades of marine engineering and sonar experience to create the highest performing forward looking sonar (FLS) on the market and we are proud of what we have achieved. Our world-leading FLS is called Vigilant. While designing such an innovative product, we have thoroughly researched our customers’ needs.
Using our extensive experience of military sonar systems, the technology of our world-leading diver detection system, Sentinel, and the history of Wavefront’s sonar solutions, we identified the main challenges of designing forward looking sonar. This experience has allowed us to tailor Vigilant to deliver the best combination of range and resolution performance, bathymetric depth performance, power consumption, size, form factor and reliability.
Let’s have a look at the main challenges that must be considered when designing forward looking sonar based on the physics of the underwater environment:
- 3D volume of water to be scanned
- Refraction compensation
- Multi-path propagation
- Acoustic back scatter over distance
- Filtering clutter and targets of no interest
- Signal-to-noise ratio and resolution tuning
- Stabilisation of the system to account for vessel movement
It’s also critical to take into account form factors and interface requirements to ensure simple integration of forward looking sonar into any vessel.
Any design that doesn’t consider the above factors will deliver poor range, confusing returns, unusable data and require complex integration. Ultimately, it will not be doing the job it was designed for. With Vigilant, our engineering team looked at how we could overcome these challenges.
What does Vigilant offer to combat these issues?
Our engineers factored in all of the above points to optimise our forward looking sonar solution. We designed the best performing product on the market.
Vigilant delivers world-leading forward looking sonar performance as follows:
- Sonar mode up to 1500m range at 120° field of view
- Depth mode up to 600m range at 120° field of view
- Bottom mapping ratio of up to 20x water depth
- Maximum depth detection 100m
- Up to 25knts operating speed
- 50 Watts power consumption
- Angular accuracy of 0.3°
The system is fully compatible with the vessel’s integrated bridge system. Data can be viewed via a compatible bridge display with integrated charts or the Vigilant user interface on a touch screen console.
The user interface provides situational awareness by combining Vigilant data with navigational data to provide chart overlays and the vessel’s track history. You see a fully interactive view of the underwater environment in real-time. Depth data can be displayed in either a 2D or 3D view showing the seabed and in-water obstacles. Automatic warnings are produced based on the depth and sonar detections for the current trajectory of the vessel.
A unique combination of design considerations have been implemented to create Vigilant. The end result is a world-leading forward looking sonar with the longest range and highest resolution of any other FLS.