Introducing Omniscan

Omniscan is a low-cost, high-resolution, long-range imaging sonar ideally suited for use on small ROVs and surface vessels. Omniscan has a narrow and tall fan beam (<1 deg width) which is scanned by rotating the platform. As the ROV or surface vessel moves, SonarView “paints” the image of the scanned area of the sea floor giving excellent situational awareness in the murkiest conditions.

Animated screen capture of SonarView illustrating how vehicle motion scans the seafloor. To see the Omniscan and SonarView in action check out the web demo at:

In the case of a surface vessel with GPS or an ROV with DVL, scanning can be translational as well as rotational. A key difference between Omniscan and other scanning sonars and side-scan sonars in its class is Omniscan’s built-in IMU and integration with Cerulean’s SonarView application. If SonarView detects that the vehicle supports a MAVLINK connection, the vehicle’s position and attitude information is used to display each ping in its correct absolute orientation and position. Typical side-scan products just display a sequence of pings in a linear array, and require post-processing with high end software tools to achieve correct image rendering. With Omniscan and SonarView, you see the geometrically correct image live in real time. Even without vehicle position information, SonarView displays each ping at the correct compass direction using Omniscan’s built in IMU.

Forward Scanning and Side Scanning Models

There are two Omniscan 450 models. This is the Omniscan 450 FS, ideally suited for forward looking ROV applications. The transducer and electronics are housed in a single enclosure with Ethernet + power interface.

Omniscan 450 FS in 300m depth rated enclosure
Rendering of Omniscan 450 FS with optional mounting bracket on a BlueROV2.

Using Omniscan 450 FS on an ROV, the scanning is under the direct control of the ROV driver so that they can focus on specific areas of interest rather than waiting for a mechanical scanning sonar to slowly come around to sweep the particular sector they want to see. Using the “Heading Up” mode in SonarView makes this manual scanning very intuitive and provides excellent situational awareness.

Omniscan SonarView in Heading Up Mode.

Omniscan 450 SS

The Omniscan 450 SS is tailored for side-scan applications. It has a longer transducer which gives 50% better angular resolution and 150m maximum range. The transducer is rated to 300m operating depth. Two units of the Omniscan 450 SS can be combined in SonarView for the conventional side-scan application in which both sides are scanned simultaneously.

The Omniscan 450 FS and the Omniscan 450 SS use the same electronics module. In the Omniscan 450 FS, the electronics module is mounted in the integrated FS transducer/enclosure. In the Omniscan 450 SS, the transducer is separate, and the electronics module is mounted in the vehicle’s water tight enclosure.

Omniscan 450 SS with transducer, PCB assembly, and cables.

Note that although the model designations indicate Forward Scanning (FS) and Side Scanning (SS), in reality either one can be used for either application. The real difference is in the transducer and the packaging.

Price and Availability

Omniscan 450 FS (100m enclosure)$2250March 2023
Omniscan 450 FS (300m enclosure)$2750March 2023
Omniscan 450 SS$2295March 2023