Department of Homeland Security SBIR Sponsor Views FarSounder Proof of Concept Testing at Quonset Point

The FarSounder team recently completed the Phase I Feasibility Study and Proof of Concept testing at Quonset Point, RI as part of their Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) SBIR. An open circuit diver was viewed using FarSounder's COTS navigation sonar as a proof of concept for a future Low Cost Underwater Threat Detection System. In addition to their sponsor, the testing was viewed by Navy and Coast Guard personnel, local State Police and Security agencies and representatives from defense contractors including Rite-Solutions and Raytheon. Other invited guests traveled from Canada and Monaco for the diver demonstration.

Phase I objectives included demonstrating that detection of swimmer size targets is possible with FarSounder`s 3D approach, particularly in shallow waters. The Phase I effort also included a feasibility study and development of a concept design for the 3D Underwater Threat system. The ultimate goal of this effort is to produce a low cost commercialized 3D system sonar system for underwater threat detection. This system will be based on the FarSounder 3D sonar technology and will utilize COTS components which will leverage FarSounder`s advanced processing techniques to increase the system's performance when compared to currently available port security sonars.

Benefits include increased protection of ports, critical waterside infrastructures and other fixed shoreline sites and prevention of attacks affecting large areas of local populations such as those near LNG terminals. The system will provide the first underwater port security system practical for use in all US ports and along extensive areas of US coastlines and inland waterways.

Currently used for obstacle avoidance and shallow water navigation, FarSounder FS-3 COTS sonars are capable of generating a complete 3-dimensional image of the sea floor and in-water objects at navigationally significant ranges with a single ping. The small, lightweight sonar can be installed on new-builds or retrofitted into existing vessels. This new sonar technology revolutionizes marine navigation, especially in shallow areas. They offer visualization of a clear, easy to understand 3D sonar image.