Marport, a leading subsea acoustics technology company, announced today its CHIRP ES echosounder at the Oceanology International 2008 conference. The new echosounder is based upon Marport's Software Defined Sonar (SDS) technology platform and is designed for commercial, hydrographic and military applications.
Marport's CHIRP ES is an advanced echosounder solution with state-of-the-art design, user friendly interface, modular construction, simple installation, easy configuration and hands-off operation.
The unit's software defined architecture enables digital signal processing to be performed in software which can be programmed "on-the-fly" to utilize any frequency, bandwidth, or pulse length. It uses non-linear FM (CHIRP) transmit pulse with correlation processing of the return signal. In addition to improved target discrimination, CHIRP modulation achieves superior signal to noise gain over conventional CW sounders for enhanced bottom detection and penetration. A robust, bottom tracking algorithm maintains bottom lock and delivers accurate depth data over even the most difficult bottom topographies.
The broadband transceiver can be dynamically tuned from 1 kHz - 625 kHz. Acoustic characteristics include superior shallow and deep water performance (~0.5 meters depth @ 200 kHz; ~5000 meters depth @ 12 kHz). The unit can be easily configured to operate with up to four commercial or military echosounder transducers. A side-scanning sonar interface option is also available, including interfaces to
Marport's AquaPix 3D acoustic imaging sonar. For military applications, it can retrofit and replace legacy naval depth sounders such as the AN/UQN-4 and VE-59.
The system interfaces to external peripheral devices via RS232/ RS-422 serial communication interfaces and TCP/IP. These devices include digital data loggers, NMEA 0183 compatible position sensors, remote displays and heave sensors. Soundings and screen displays can be printed on a standard printer. File transfers can be performed using a USB memory-key.
The transceiver can be placed close to the transducer and linked to the bridge computer via Ethernet. The bridge computer is delivered with Marport's CommandView visualization software already installed. CommandView enables processing, display and recording of depth profiles that are co-registered with position and environmental data (pressure, temperature, density, salinity and sound velocity). Depth data is presented as an echogram or as numerical values on a high-resolution, touch screen color display. Up to four independent frequencies can be shown on the same display, with a variety of display modes including bottom-lock, zoom, A-scope, and navigation data. All data is stored on an internal hard drive for postacquisition review. TCP/IP interfaces enable data transfer and integration into other onboard systems for remote control, data-sharing and archiving capabilities.
Pricing & Availability
Pre-production units of the CHIRP ES will be available in May, 2008. Marport is now booking orders for production units with first deliveries scheduled for June, 2008. While pricing has not been yet finalized, an entry level system is expected to retail for approximately C$25,000 plus transducer, installation and commissioning.