With their recently released SonaSoft 4.0, Farsounder has solidified themselves as the leaders in marine 3D Forward Looking Sonar systems
Superyacht captains are often called upon to bring passengers close to nature, be that alongside glaciers in high latitudes or past coral reefs in tropical lagoons. Sometimes their itineraries may also include avoiding parts of the natural world such as whales. Avoiding a strike with any of these dangers while bringing the passengers where they want to be can be challenging. Captains can recognise the value of having a 3D Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) to show them what is ahead under the water in real time when trying to deliver an exclusive experience.
One might ask ‘Why can’t these yachts simply use electronic nautical charts (ENCs) as a map to avoid underwater obstacles?’ Though digital charts might seem the obvious answer, this solution is limited because so much of the world’s oceans are poorly mapped or even completely unmapped. The latest announcement by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco during the most recent International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Assembly of the GEBCO world map, puts the tally at just under 25% of the world’s oceans being mapped. However, this coverage rate is only at 100 metre resolution (which is not good enough for navigation) and much of the collected data is from old surveys using outdated approaches prone to large errors.
Globally, less than 10% of the ocean has been mapped using modern technology. The US can boast that it has mapped about 52% of its waters, yet only about 35% has been mapped with modern methods. In littoral waters, only about 50% have been mapped globally. These are the specific locations where underwater obstacles pose the greatest threat and yachts venturing off the beaten track are likely to spend much of their time in poorly charted or uncharted regions. Furthermore, ENCs cannot account for transient obstacles such as whales, ice, and containers, all of which are critical to avoid when underway. Plus in many shallow water locations, the seafloor changes with the seasons and after natural disasters.