Side Scan Sonar

Side scan sonar is a specialized sonar device for finding and identifying objects on the seafloor. Like other sonars, a side scan sonar broadcasts sound energy and interprets the return signal (echo) that reflects from the seabed or other objects. The transmitted energy is projected into the shape of a fan that sweeps the seafloor to either side. As a vessel equipped with side scan sonar moves along in a straight line, an image of the sea floor to either side of is developed.

Here is preview of a future Cerulean side scan sonar product we’ve been working on. These are early times in the development cycle, but already the imaging obtained is yielding impressive results. Both of these images were produced using the low cost ($299) Lowrance “3-in-1” sidescan transducer. The image on the right is from the standard Lowrance system, and the image on the left is from the same transducer driven by the prototype Cerulean side scan electronics. The Cerulean result is sharper because of CHIRP technology which provides better signal to noise ratio and improved range resolution.

Cerulean side scan sonar image with CHIRP (left), same target with same transducer but OEM driver and no CHIRP (right).
Cerulean Sonar Side scan sonar images using different processing methods

The Side scan sonar images were taken from a Wayzata Bay wreck in Lake Minnetonka, at a 450khz frequency at about 60 meters range.

A close-up of the Wayzata Bay wreck. 21-HE-401 showing some of the features seen on the Cerulean Sonar SSS imaging.
Side scan image of a mid-50’s car sunk in Lake Minnetonka. Yes, some crazy ice fishermen goes through the ice pretty much every year. You’re not allowed to just leave them there anymore!
Scuba diver checking out same car.

Specific configurations for the Cerulean side scan product are not yet finalized, but our goal is to set a new benchmark for high performance at a very affordable price point. Surface and depth-rated versions are anticipated and release is targeted for the first half of 2020.

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