International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

FarSounder Inc. of Warwick Rhode Island has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a long range/high speed navigation and obstacle avoidance sonar.

The company will develop a forward looking navigation and collision avoidance sonar system that provides real-time 3-dimensional location (bearing range depth) of obstacles at distances up to 3.2km (2 miles) for vessels traveling at up to 65 km/hr (35 knots). This project opens up new possibilities in marine navigation by addressing the economic safety and environmental problems associated with large vessel operations.

Cheryl M. Zimmerman CEO of FarSounder Inc. confirmed that stationary dredging equipment is an item of concern in the development of this new technology.

The 2.75 year $2 million project will develop a sonar system capable of detecting obstacles at a distance sufficient for large and/or high speed vessels to avoid obstacles. There is no other technology capable of providing navigation and obstacle avoidance information out to these significant distances and speeds. There are none that are even capable of competing with FarSounder’s existing short range low speed products according to a FarSounder press release. FarSounder now produces a forward-looking navigation and optical avoidance sonar that can find obstacles to a quarter of a mile 440 meters designed for vessels traveling 10 to 20 knots.