What to Expect From Your 3D Forward Looking Sonar

  • Posted on: 1 November 2016
  • By: Matthew Zimmerman
Chart overlay of look ahead sonar
FarSounder forward looking navigation sonars are unlike any other sonar on the market. Our sonars generate a complete 3D image ahead of the vessel at navigationally significant ranges with each and every ping. Because our technology differs from all other sonar products, we try to be very straightforward and clear about what our products can and cannot do. The purpose of this posting is to highlight the unique capabilities that users can expect from our navigation products as well as outline the general installation and interfacing requirements.

Integrating FarSounder Navigation Sonars into Wärtsilä SAM Electronics

  • Posted on: 11 November 2015
  • By: Matthew Zimmerman
We recently announced the integration of our navigation sonars into the newest Wärtsilä SAM Electronics NACOS Platinum Integrated Bridge System. Now that the first of these integrated systems has been installed for a customer, we’d like to share some more details about how we fit into their system.

Seeing the Big Picture: Expanded Chart Overlay

  • Posted on: 16 March 2015
  • By: Matthew Zimmerman
expanded chart overlay
Early in FarSounder’s development, we added a raster chart display to help our engineers correlate what we saw in the sonar display with what was in the real world. The raster chart display evolved to a vector chart display. Soon after that, we started displaying in-water targets on top of the chart. Now, with the release of SonaSoft 3.0, our software includes an expanded overlay with the complete 3D sonar image. The seafloor and in-water targets are shown with the same colors as the 3D Sonar Display as an overlay on top of the chart data. Many users will find that the C-Map Chart Display will become their primary display rather than the 3D Sonar Display since it shows a more complete situational awareness with both chart and sonar data.

Comparing Forward Looking Sonars for Navigation

  • Posted on: 19 December 2012
  • By: Matthew Zimmerman
Comparing forward looking sonar is like comparing apples to oranges - used under

As with many technical products, understanding the differences between navigation sonar products sold by different vendors can be confusing. Much of the technical product literature can be confusing with different companies assigning different meanings to similar terms. At trade shows, we are often asked "What's the difference between Company X's product and yours?" or "Which is a better? FarSounder's sonars or Company B's sonars?". We don't like to presume we know every detail about every sonar on the market. Rather, we believe that once a customer understands which metrics they should be considering they can easily choose the best "look ahead sonar" for them. For our customers' class of ships, we're confident that they will choose a FarSounder. In this blog posting, we'll take a look at what we feel are the most important metrics you should use to compare forward looking sonars: Coverage Zone and Update Rate.

Navigation Sonar for Exploration Yachts

  • Posted on: 6 July 2012
  • By: Alexander Yakub...
expedition yacht sonar

As more and more yachts choose expedition style itineraries, the risk of collision with poorly charted obstacles or wrongly placed obstacles (due to GPS malfunctions) increases significantly. Groundings with large underwater structures such as rocks, reefs, sandbanks and shoals are unfortunately significant risks for the adventurer. Having a navigation sonar installed which is capable of detecting such hazards at long range is important in these scenarios. More importantly, the detection range of the installed sonar should be suitable for the vessel. In this blog posting, we discuss how to calculate a suitable detection range for your ship's obstacle avoidance sonar.

Sneak Preview: FarSounder's Next Generation Navigation Sonars


Coming this fall, FarSounder will be releasing its next generation of navigation sonar technology. We're really excited about the capabilities we are about to unlock and want to share some of the excitement with this early sneak preview. A few of the new features we're going to release include:

  • Longer detection ranges

  • In-water target tracking for improved image stability

  • Chart overlay of sonar targets

Applications of Navigation Sonar Related to Ice

  • Posted on: 21 December 2011
  • By: Matthew Zimmerman
iceberg. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Web. 21 Dec. 2011. <http

Navigation in and around ice is a very important topic for vessels destined for the arctic or antarctic waters. The rise of adventure cruising, scientific expeditions, and commercial shipping through these areas is keeping the topic in the forefront of many conversations. Ship operators in these areas are interested not only in detecting and avoiding icebergs but in some cases also knowing how close they can get to ice that is clearly visible above the water. Navigation in such areas is clearly reliant on seaman experience. Since the sinking of the RMS Titanic, engineers around the world have been working on ways to detect icebergs using various sonar technologies. In this blog post, we summarize how FarSounder's 3D sonars can be used to navigate in sea ice conditions and how our obstacle avoidance sonars can be installed on ice classed vessels.

Installing New Sonar on Old Vessels: Breaking Down the Refit Process

  • Posted on: 15 April 2011
  • By: Matthew Zimmerman
installing FLS

For an end user new to FarSounder sonars, the idea of retrofitting a sonar into an existing hull can seem daunting. However, once the details are examined, the process is relatively straight forward. Approximately 50% of our customer installations are refits to older hulls. Even some of the New Builds that have our sonars have approached integration of our systems as a "refit" when our products have been added to the ship's specifications late in the build process. When beginning to consider one of our 3-dimensional forward looking navigation or diver detection sonar systems, potential customers are often concerned with the installation design process and any potential hydrodynamic impact on the hull. These are important questions to which we believe there are some simple answers. The purpose of this blog posting is to explain the basics of refitting a vessel for our 3-dimensional forward looking navigation and diver detection sonar systems.