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The Sonar

SonarBell® works with a wide range of sonar equipment but the specific performance delivered is a function of certain parameters dictated by the set-up of the sonar.

At the simplest level, matching the sonar used with a SonarBell® tuned to resonate at that frequency will deliver best performance.

There are three fundamental types of sonar on the market:

  • Depth Sounders or Echo Sounders: These are generally simple single beam devices that return a single depth measurement directly under the vessel or multibeam devices which measure and return a ‘slice’ below and to both sides of the vessel.
  • Side Scan Sonars: These are generally mounted on an underwater body that is either towed by a vessel or self-propelled. They are multibeam systems and provide enhanced definition looking to either side of the host platform.
  • Forward Look Sonars: These are devices that may include mechanical or electronic “beam-steering” and multiple receiver channels to provide enhanced target definition. They range from simple systems used on an ROV, for example, through to intricate Swimmer Detection sonars to powerful and complex Military systems which are mounted on a ship’s hull for mine-hunting or anti-submarine warfare.

The frequency of sonar used will have a major impact on range as will the amount of energy the sonar puts into the water, generally speaking:

  • The lower the frequency the longer the range, the greater the energy put into the water the longer the range

There are many other factors such as the beam patterns of the sonar, sound energy pulse shape etc. But just as importantly, the environmental conditions have a huge impact.