SIDE-SCAN SONAR INTEGRATED ROV

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EyeROV TUNA has eyes in the water that saves your time in all your underwater operations. Below the water surface, visibility can range from a few feet to as low as a few inches away. In turbid waters, the standard camera on the underwater ROV will work similarly to a human eye; they will have a hard time navigating through the water. This is where the navigational sonar systems come into play. From the surface, the ROV pilot navigates through the low visibility water solely using the SONAR. Add-on Side Scan SONAR as a payload in ROV allows for the identification of targets in turbid or dark waters.

Side SCAN SONAR is one of the most important and effective tools for underwater exploration. It helps to search a large area quickly and produce a detailed picture of anything on the bottom, regardless of water clarity. One of the main applications is in the case of search and rescue operations. When looking at a side scan image it appears as if the water has been removed and the ROV pilot is getting an unobstructed view of the lake bottom, or the river bed. High-resolution images are sent from the ROV to a control station for display and storage. It certainly allows to cover much wider search areas in substantially less time and reduces risk to divers by only having them in the water when having a specific area/target to confirm.

The Side Scan SONAR integrated with EyeROV TUNA is the best in the class in range and resolution giving up to 200m per side and capable of capturing human-like targets with decent resolutions.

 

General Operational Procedure

Side Scan SONAR is generally towed equipment towed from surface vessels or from a ship hull. Towing by maintaining a certain distance from the bed/ seafloor is a challenging task with continuously varying bed profiles and with complex obstacles that may appear in the path. With complex topography and in a deep environment it is not possible to use a narrow range that requires having the equipment at a short distance from the bottom (this situation indeed does not guarantee the safety condition of towed equipment)Also there is an increased chance of the equipment being hitting the bottom bed/seafloor / some obstruction on the way as there is no live monitoring of the underwater condition. In the case of ROV integrated Side Scan SONAR, the movement is controlled by a joystick, and piloting is done from a control station by checking the live streaming videos which eliminates the chance of equipment damage due to impact with debris or sea bed.

To perform a proper Side Scan Sonar survey of an area, survey lines are made and ROV is piloted along these lines at a certain altitude from the river bed. The intensity of the acoustic reflections from the river bed/seafloor is recorded in a series of cross-track slices. When stitched together along the direction of motion, these slices form an image of the bottom within the swath (coverage width) or slant range of the beam. Divers can be deployed in water whenever relevant locations are identified from an ROV-based Side Scan Sonar survey, thereby drastically reducing human risk, and operations time and increasing the target identification chances.

Side Scan Sonar onboard ROV is an agile tool recommended for search and rescue missions, underwater suspicious object search missions, wreckage mapping, marine lost or sunken objects survey, etc… ROV makes Side Scan Sonar-based data collection very easy as the depth, speed of operations, and safety of equipment can be achieved quickly and the best data resolutions can be obtained by making quick course changes and altitude changes effectively.