Seeing the Big Picture: 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.
Though many of our customers are running a full ECDIS side by side with our sonar, having basic chart plotting capabilities built into the FarSounder software adds a lot to the user experience. By seeing the sonar image as an overlay on top of a chart, the user can quickly confirm whether the sonar is detecting a known target (like the rock pinnacle marked on the chart) or an unknown, uncharted obstacle. In some locations, the chart may only have a general indication of what is outside the channel. With the forward looking sonar overlay, a captain can see exactly where the reef lies.
Chart Plotting Features
SonaSoft 3.0 software includes the following charting capabilities:
- Overlay of seafloor and in-water targets as detected by our 3D FLS
- Color mapping of sonar data to depth and/or signal level
- Vessel location and history marks
- Sonar field-of-view indicator
- Graphical distance measuring tool
- Day/Dusk/Night color themes
These capabilities are built into the FarSounder user interface software and are separate from the FarSounder overlay integrated into the Transas NaviSailor-4000 ECDIS/ECS.
Chart Database Details
FarSounder uses Jeppesen Marine’s C-Map Professional+ chart database in its software. Chart plotting with sonar overlay capabilities come standard with FarSounder’s software. However, the chart data needs to be licensed separately. Continuing in 2015, a joint promotion between Jeppesen Marine and FarSounder offers a complimentary 3 month trial license for the C-Map chart data. Once you try it, we know you’ll never look back.