The Slovenian Navy has taken delivery of a Sonardyne Sentinel Intruder Detection Sonar (IDS) for the underwater protection of key installations in the northern Adriatic Sea. The contract also includes the provision of the new Sonardyne underwater loudhailer called ‘Scylla'. This option for a Sentinel system allows users to broadcast underwater warning messages to deter submerged intruders once they have been detected.
With support from NATO, the Slovenian Navy evaluated numerous diver detection technologies last summer (2008). During the trials, Slovenian Navy divers attempted to evade or deceive the ‘invisible' underwater protective zone created by the Sentinel system which demonstrated that despite its relatively small size, weight and cost, its performance was superior to other systems.
Following its introduction, Sentinel has shown a 100% success rate in detecting targets at long ranges and in differentiating between divers, surface swimmers and non-threats such as pleasure craft, large fish and cetaceans. This high level of performance is attributed to the fact that unlike other commercially available diver detection systems, Sentinel is a not a hybrid of an existing sonar. It has been specifically designed by Sonardyne to meet the challenge of tracking underwater targets reliably and cost-effectively.
The Sentinel sonar head is only 30cm in diameter, 40cm high and weighs just 35kg (77lbs) which makes it compact and easily deployed from a vessel or harbour environment. Capable of providing 360 degrees of sonar coverage, it can operate as a standalone portable system or configured with multiple sonar heads to be networked together so that very wide areas, such as ports and waterfront locations can be monitored. The new system features advanced software for target detection, classification and tracking that removes the need for continuous manual operation. Threat warnings received by the system's control facility can be automatically forwarded by text message, internet or pre-recorded voice message to key personnel anywhere in the world.