Sonardyne launches Vigilant Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) for naval forces

6 May 2020  – Maritime technology specialist Sonardyne International Ltd. has launched a new navigation and collision avoidance capability for surface and underwater naval and defence operations with its new Vigilant forward looking sonar (FLS).

Providing live and past vessel track, detailed 3D bathymetry out to 600 m and advanced warnings of navigational obstacles on and beneath the waterline out to 1.5 km, Vigilant FLS offers naval forces with unprecedented situational awareness.

Compact in size and easy to mount, Vigilant is suitable for a range of naval platforms, from military ships to diver delivery systems (DDS) [in the opening picture] entering challenging operational zones. It provides an early warning of hazards, from rocks and wrecks to sand banks and otherwise unseen, below-the-surface obstacles, over a 90 degree field of view. For unmanned surface vehicles (USV) of the type increasingly being employed to conduct intelligence gathering and over-the-horizon reconnaissance missions, Vigilant comes ready to support onboard automatic control and obstacle avoidance systems, enabling full below the waterline awareness.

Vigilant provides two operational modes: 3D and Sonar, which helmsman and vehicle pilots can seamlessly toggle between. Sonar mode detects obstacles in the water out to more than 1.5 km giving large vessels in particular valuable time to react. The system’s configurable alarms ensure hazards are not overlooked during periods of high operator workload.

In 3D mode, users are able to view an easy to interpret, real-time generated three-dimensional colour map of the bathymetry out to 600 m. They’re also able to view a profile display, showing the depth of an obstacle and if, for example, a DDS could safely manoeuvre underneath it. Sonar mode also continues in the background during 3D mode, at the selected range.

Vigilant offers multiple mounting and integration options including permanent, through-hull deployment and interfacing with third-party command and control systems or electronic charting displays and is suitable for both new builds and already commissioned vessels.

Ioseba Tena, Sonardyne’s Global Business Manager for Defence, says: “Vigilant FLS is a powerful new tool for those working in theatres of operation where knowing what lies ahead is mission critical. Humanitarian relief is a great example. Often, navies delivering aid are first to arrive on scene following a natural disaster. With Vigilant onboard, crews would know if the seabed on approach to a harbour or landing zone has changed following a storm. From minehunters and expeditionary vessels to swimmer delivery systems and unmanned underwater and unmanned surface vehicles, Vigilant is highly capable, flexible, easy to use and service-ready.”

Photo courtesy Sonardyne