Atlas Elektronik Awards Kraken Contract for AquPix Sonar
ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — Kraken Sonar Inc.’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc., has been awarded a contract valued at more than 425,000 Canadian dollars ($339,936) by Atlas Elektronik Canada, Kraken announced in an Aug. 30 release.
Kraken will supply and integrate its AquaPix Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) (MINAS) and Real-Time SAS Signal Processor on the Atlas SeaCat Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Delivery is expected in September.
AquaPix is designed for operation on AUVs and towed platforms. The modular system uses the latest electronics, transducer arrays and signal processing software optimized for the demanding size, weight, power and cost constraints of unmanned maritime vehicles.
SeaCat is an approximately three-meter and 280-kilogram (depending on configuration) mid-size, modular, hybrid AUV that provides remotely operated vehicle and AUV capabilities “as a truck” to the operating theater.
SeaCat has been fully certified and qualified and thus fulfils the important military and commercial standards. In addition to the basic side-scan sensor suite, SeaCat is now available with Kraken’s AquaPix MINSAS for applications like mine hunting or seabed boulder counting.
In combination with its unique SwapHead (open interface) mission bay, SeaCat can be equipped with a broad spectrum of sensors like multi-beam, camera, light, sub-bottom profiler, magnetometer, etc. To enhance maneuverability and range SeaCat is configurable with different thruster-sections and extended range modules (up to 20 hours autonomy).
Tim Kraemer, ATLAS Head of Business Line AUV, stated during the contract signature that he was very pleased that such a well performing SAS sensor has been identified for SeaCat AUV. The AquaPix MINSAS is committed to the same product philosophy in terms of quality, performance and price value proposition as the SeaCat AUV.
AquaPix is an industry leading SAS system providing military grade technology that enables superior 3D seabed imaging, faster data processing and a lower cost than competing sonars. Conventional side-scan systems are limited in that they only provide high resolution imagery at short ranges. AquaPix produces ultra-high-resolution seabed imagery at very long ranges.
The additional information provided by AquaPix delivers detection and identification capabilities that cannot be achieved with conventional side-scan sonar. Higher resolution allows AquaPix to provide useable area coverage rates up to 10 times better that of conventional side-scan, which reduces mission time and provides faster actionable intelligence.
AquaPix also generates highly accurate 3D seafloor bathymetry data that is registered and geo-referenced to the same pixel grid co-ordinates as the imagery. Operators can simultaneously produce crisp seabed imagery and detailed 3D digital terrain maps of the seafloor that exceed commercial survey standards. The capability of generating centimeter-scale resolution in all three spatial domains also provides significant performance improvements in the detection, classification and identification of small seabed objects.