FarSounder Developing Long-Range 3D Sonar at Speed
3D sonar firm FarSounder, Inc. in Warwick, RI has receicved a $2 million, 2.75 year grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for work to develop a Forward Looking 3D Sonar System for Navigation and Collision Avoidance for Long Range and High Speed Applications. In order to improve the efficiency and safety of marine cargo transport, FarSounder plans to develop a forward looking navigation and collision avoidance sonar system, providing real-time 3-dimensional location (bearing, range, depth) of obstacles at distances up to 3.2 km (2 miles) for vessels traveling at up to 35 knots.
There is no other technology known to DID that is capable of providing navigation and obstacle avoidance information out to these significant distances and speeds. FarSounder’s release says “this project opens up new possibilities in marine navigation by addressing the economic, safety and environmental problems associated with large vessel operations.” This is true, but the benefits could be just as big for brown-water/littoral ships, submarines, unmanned UUVs, and Special Forces insertion devices (short of the supercavitating “Underwater Express”).