Expedition Ships Opting for FarSounder Sonar

New expedition tonnage for Hapag-Lloyd and Ponant will be equipped with FarSounder-1000, a real-time 3D forward-looking sonar system.

“We look ahead and process the volume out to 1,000 meters,” said Cheryl M. Zimmerman, CEO. “It’s more of a cone, also going down 50 meters and it refreshes as fast as a radar. It can see the obstacles ahead.”

The system is installed in the bow of a ship and can be run in a stand-alone computer on the bridge, and can also be integrated with a vessel’s ECDIS system, according to Zimmerman. The concept: see ahead of the vessel under the water.

Officers can select their alarm settings from visual and audio options.

The Rhode Island-based company provides guidelines on installation and works closely with naval architects to ensure the system is properly designed into the bow.

It can also be added during routine drydockings, said Zimmerman. The World, for example, started with the company’s 330-meter system a number of years ago and has since upgraded to the latest 1,000-meter system. The ship has a Northwest Passage transit planned for 2019.

Software upgrades are rolled out on a consistent basis as well.

The technology has been improved strategically over the years, and does not interfere with marine life.

Other customers include a number of navies, commercial vessels and super yachts.

It’s not all polar waters for the company’s customers as many want the technology for sailing operations near coral reefs or shallow waters.

“These are customers who are smart and concerned about collision avoidance,” Zimmerman added

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