Unmanned surface vessels (USVs) are seen as viable platforms for a growing number of applications, but their navigation capabilities need to improve. Early deployments took place in well-mapped, controlled environments. This allowed collision avoidance requirements to be simplified by ignoring underwater obstacles. But developers and users now want to expand the use of USVs to more complex environments, including force projection to higher latitudes, coastal surveillance and high-speed ocean searches.
Digital charts are not always an effective barrier against underwater obstacles – less than 10% of the world’s oceans have been mapped using modern sonar technology, and much of the data collected comes from old surveys that are prone to errors. FarSounder’s Argos series of 3D predictive navigation sonars can detect obstacles in front of ships with a maximum range of between 350 and 1,000 meters. They offer real-time 3D seabed detection and can locate underwater obstacles and transient hazards, such as ships’ containers, even in poorly mapped mixed waters.
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