Sea Technology

NOV 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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12 st / November 2017 A great improvement to expedite MCM operations comes from the Klein 5900 fully integrated optional Gap-Filler Sonar (GFS), used to pro- vide high-resolution acoustic imagery across the side scan sonar "nadir gap." In fact, all side scan sonar systems are incapable of adequately imaging the region directly beneath the sonar tow body. This resulting "nadir gap" region, which can be relatively large depend- ing on the tow body altitude, can only be covered by executing a sonar survey that encompasses 100 percent overlap on reciprocal adjacent survey lines. The Gap-Filler Sonar option can halve the survey time necessary to achieve full bottom coverage. The GFS on the Klein 5900 operates synchronous with the main side scan sonar and covers a sector directly below—and slightly ahead of—the tow body path. A very important feature is Klein SP-Link, which enables transmission of full-resolution compressed imagery in real time to the command ship or to a base station, either via RF line-of-sight (LOS) or via a satellite communication link. This real-time data collection and transmission software allows MCM missions to be executed and moni- tored, which enables, if necessary, making data-based decisions before the vehicle returns to base. Also, the SP-Link allows remote control of stan- dard sonar parameters, such as range, pulse width, etc., as well as remote control of hydrodynamic surfaces— wing and tail fins—for collision avoid- ance and additional active vehicle sta- bilization. MCM Challenge Many of the features of the 5900 were tested in the difficult conditions of the Mine Countermeasure Chal- lenge in Belgium. In fact, on the day assigned to Elbit/Klein, the sea condi- tions were less than ideal. During our testing period, a major storm affected the area, but the Klein/Elbit team elect- ed to demonstrate on the assigned day to prove the superior MCM grade im- aging capability of the 5900 side scan sonar even in adverse sea state condi- tions. After submitting the results from the survey to CMRE, the Belgian Navy released the actual coordinates of the mine-like objects. By comparing the survey data against the disclosed co- ordinates, the Klein 5900 was able to detect 100 percent of the ensonified MLO. As described, the Klein 5900 has specific features designed to make it ideally suited for MCM deployment in an unmanned—and even totally au- tonomous—scenario. For MCM opera- tions, its technology overcomes several shortcomings of SAS products. In fact, the resolution of the 5900 in the sonar near field is, by design, superior to any commercial SAS currently in produc- tion. Furthermore, its acoustic and digital processing architectures are optimized for operation in coastal sea conditions, which are typical of MCM scenarios, where there is a considerable risk of SAS inability to generate high-resolu- tion images—particularly in a towed deployment. The advantages of the 5900 become even more evident when we take into account its cost benefit, particularly when considering the intrinsic high risk of damages to the equipment in unmanned operation. In conclusion, the North Sea Un- manned MCM Trials in Belgium dem- onstrated that Klein's 5900 is the ideal imaging system for unmanned, towed MCM missions. ST Giuseppe Di Stefano is the director of marketing and sales at Klein Marine Systems. With an exten- sive background in man- agement, engineering and real-time digital sig- nal processing, he has a strong focus on customer satisfaction and innovation. "The Klein 5900 has specific features designed to make it ideally suited for MCM deployment in an unmanned—and even totally autonomous—scenario. "

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