Forward Looking Sonar for Sidescan

By Chris Favreau, Program Manager

We are adding support for Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) systems to SonarWiz 7.6. While the data for FLS systems look similar to other sonar systems such as Side Scan Sonar (SSS), FLS data is different and presents its own challenges.

Screen Shot of Pipeline Data Viewed in Kongsberg M3 software
image courtesy of Kongsberg Mesotech

The FLS data is presented as a snapshot much like a video frame. It can be thought of as an acoustic video camera. This yields many frames per second resulting in a large amount of overlapping data. Each frame consists of multiple beams spread over the field of view (FOV).

These beams have an area of optimal focus. To allow the user to take advantage of this, SonarWiz allows the user to choose a sampling zone within the acoustic frames to import. Each of these sampled frames are then recorded and can be mosaiced and processed in SonarWiz.

Beyond simply using the FLS data to produce a mosaic, it can also be used to augment other types of sonar data. One such use is filling the Nadir gap present in most sidescan data. This can be accomplished using the transparency tools in SonarWiz.

SonarWiz 7.6 will be released with support for the Kongsberg M3 initially. Support for additional FLS systems will continue to be added in the near future.