AquaPix MINSAS integrated onboard ATLAS SeaCat AUV
Kraken Sonar Inc. wholly-owned subsidiary, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc., has been awarded a contract valued at over C$425,000 ($336,600) by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK Canada to supply and integrate its AquaPix Miniature Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar and Real-Time SAS Signal Processor on the Atlas SeaCat autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Delivery is expected in September 2017.
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 3 meters long and 280kg (depending on configuration) mid-size, modular, hybrid AUV that provides remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and AUV capabilities "as a truck" to the operating theatre. SeaCat has been fully certified and qualified and thus fulfils the important military (MIL-STD) and commercial (IHO S-44 special order, battery according to UN38.3) standards. In addition to the basic sidescan sensor suite SeaCat is now available with Kraken's AquaPix MINSAS for applications like minehunting 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). With a price of below 1 Million Euro for an initial SeaCat system it features an affordable, efficient and capable AUV system for shore-based, RHIB, USV and ship deployments.
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.
Karl Kenny, Kraken President and CEO said, "Atlas has a long history when it comes to providing naval systems and maritime technologies to international customers. The company's outstanding products include mine-countermeasure systems, sonar systems, command and control systems, and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVS). Atlas has already sold over 3,000 UUVs to customers worldwide. Their dedication to underwater drone activities entails a deep knowledge of key technologies such as hydrodynamics, navigation, guidance and control, communication, sensors, software and system management that they have gained since the 1970s. We are very pleased to equip their SeaCat AUV with our AquaPix system and look forward to continued growth."
AquaPix is an industry leading Synthetic Aperture Sonar 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 sidescan sonar. Higher resolution allows AquaPix to provide useable area coverage rates up to 10 times better that of conventional sidescan, which reduces mission time and provides faster actionable intelligence.
AquaPix also generates 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 IHO SP-44 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.