Marine Electronics Ltd of Guernsey, UK, has delivered a high performance sediment imaging sonar to the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool. The sonar is the first of its kind and is capable of providing real-time video images showing the movement of individual grains of sand. The new sonar is expected to be used by the laboratory for work on behalf of the National Energy Research Council to quantify the movement of sand grains in shallow water. This can provide valuable data for use when, for example, calculating the behaviour of sediment around construction projects.
The new sonar consists of multiples of individual 500mm arrays that each contain 15 transducers running at three different frequencies. This gives the sonar a wide dynamic range that makes it capable of capturing data at short ranges up to one metre which is then averaged internally to create a coherent image. The system is designed to be fully autonomous and the arrays can be configured in a T-shape or in a straight line. Each array is connected to its own scheduling module and contains two 32 GB flash discs for data storage.
The sand imaging sonar is intended for deployment on a seabed frame powered from a battery pack and supplied with Windows compatible scheduling and live view software. This makes it uniquely capable of autonomously gathering large volumes of backscatter data and for providing real-time images of the movement of individual sand grains and sediment clouds.
Marine Electronics Ltd is a leading manufacturer of advanced specialised sonar systems and specialises in developing products to meet the specific needs of individual customers. This has resulted in the company becoming the first to install a forward -looking sonar aboard a tanker and it has a number of products that can be used for tasks such as monitoring the build-up of sludge inside nuclear power plants, oil storage tanks and underground pipe networks.
First published on http://guernsey.isle-news.com/ on 26/07/2010