Innovation in cruising is in full bloom. As cruise ship operators continue to seek out new, exciting experiences for their customers, they are rapidly expanding their offerings of exclusive destinations. Their customers are demanding unique itineraries which, in turn, demand the most advanced technologies to bring them there and back safely.
FarSounder has become the first forward-looking sonar technology company to be registered as a trusted node for the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry database, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
FarSounder’s Forward Looking Sonar identifies obstructions in the water up to 1,000 metres ahead, helping operators to keep ships, guests and crew safe.
Expanding their business to provide expedition cruises is a smart investment for cruise operators. However, while passengers crave unspoiled landscapes, chartered routes throughout polar regions and tropical hideaways are limited at best.
As more cruise vessels traverse the waters near the poles, we look at the tech designed to navigate safely.
NASA scientists call the accelerated melting of polar sea ice the “new normal,” an ice melt that has created an unprecedented increase in unexplored and uncharted waters. January 2017 satellite imagery revealed the lowest number of square miles of sea ice measured in the previous 38 years of record, and 100,000 square miles less than 2016. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists estimate that within the next two decades the Arctic Ocean will be free of multi-year ice in the summer.
THE COMPANY: Since 2001, FarSounder has been perfecting a sonar that could show mariners where the water is safe to navigate. Their innovative 3D FLS, built in house from the ground up, now allows vessels to look ahead and navigate with confidence. Radar, depth sounders, ECDIS, and electronics charts with GPS are missing an important piece of information: What is under the water in front of my ship right now?
Wärtsilä, Sperry Marine and Raytheon Anschütz have advanced their bridge technology, while passenger ship operators can add extras such as FarSounder’s echosounder or ChartCo’s ECDIS overlays...
...Farsounder’s forward looking sonar can be included in integrated bridge systems. It enables navigators to see what is in front of them underwater in 3D and in real-time. Farsounder’s technology can reach up to 1,000 m in front of the ship and can detect icebergs, reefs, shipping containers, large whales and other navigation obstructions.
In the last decade, 3D forward-scanning technology has emerged that could change yacht navigation…
Excerpt from the article:
We pit 2D against 3D to understand what we can expect from different Forward Looking Sonars
With more and more exploration yachts choosing to operate in challenging environments, the risk of collision with poorly charted obstacles, wrongly placed obstacles (due to GPS malfunctions), or transient obstacles such as ice and submerged shipping containers, increases significantly. Groundings with large underwater structures such as rocks, reefs, sandbanks and shoals are unfortunately significant risks. And the annual costs of groundings and collisions run up into the billions every year.
The New Data Paradigm
Seaports, waterways and climate are inextricably linked. Weather anomalies change bottom contours and destroy aids to navigation compromising safety. In the past decade, maritime applications, maturing marine technologies and crowdsourcing have given mariners access to near-real-time hydrographic data.
With more superyachts cruising atypical waters, the dangers presented by insufficient chart data are increasing. Marianne Molchan, president of Molchan Marine Sciences, looks at the role of forward-looking sonar and how it could be a game changer for the adventurous owner-captain team.
ONE LAST THING
Getting real-time data for an extended range of up to 1,000 meters in front of a vessel is now possible with a new type of 3D forward-looking sonar. The ranges of previous sonars were much shorter. That additional distance translates into extra reaction time - a critical advantage in today’s congested shipping lanes.
Situational awareness is key for safe navigation. As more and more vessels operate in challenging environments, the risk of allusions with uncharted or wrongly placed obstacles and collisions with transient obstacles (such as ice and submerged shipping containers) increases significantly. Groundings on large underwater structures such as rocks, reefs, sandbanks and shoals are unfortunately significant risks for the mariner.
WARWICK – FarSounder Inc. has received a 2015 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The high-tech marine electronics manufacturer was among 23 small businesses and six individuals and three supporting organizations recognized for their “exemplary roles” in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, according to a news release from the SBA.