Sonardyne International has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of its new long range diver detection sonar, Sentinel 1500, during simulated waterborne attacks against a Royal Navy vessel docked alongside the DSEI defence and security exhibition held in London in September.
The image below illustrates NIDAR's single screen situational awareness display that is providing a 360 degree above and below water coverage around HMS Tyne. The detected diver can be clearly seen on the system's camera, plan and underwater views as a 'critical alert' within the secure zone around the vessel. Other 'safe' targets are displayed as part of the library and on the panoramic situation awareness display across the top of the screen.
As part of the four day event, Sonardyne also exhibited NIDAR, presented by the company as the future of integrated, wide-area vessel and waterside security. NIDAR combines Sentinel diver detection sonar data with other sensors including camera, radar, satellite and AIS. This creates a 360 degree situational awareness picture above-and-below water for identifying waterborne threats, generating alerts and activating deterrents.
Sentinel 1500 is the latest addition to Sonardyne's family of underwater surveillance solutions and was deployed from the back deck of HMS Tyne. During daily demonstrations, Sentinel was shown to consistently outperform competing sonar technologies, detecting and classifying divers within seconds of the intruders entering water on the far side of the dock. As the divers reached a pre-determined exclusion zone established around the vessel, audible and visual alarms alerted those observing to the underwater threat.
Operating under the automatic control of NIDAR, optical and thermal imaging cameras slewed to the target co-ordinates given by Sentinel to rule out any surface contact. The system then triggered a phased series of non-lethal underwater deterrents capable of protecting the vessel. Visiting dignitaries and guests were able to experience the unique ability to control NIDAR from both the multi-touch screen interface and wireless iPAD application that can remotely observe, control and activate the system's sensors and deterrents.
Rob Balloch, Strategic Development Director for Sonardyne, said: "The in-water exercises during DSEI illustrated the end-to-end capabilities of Sonardyne's integrated Sentinel and NIDAR technology platform which can be rapidly mobilised to protect both vessels and waterside installations. The practicality of such technology depends on the ability to deploy a solution that requires minimal effort to install, is easy to operate and offers integration with other sensors to reduce false alarms and deter intruders." He added: "We extend our thanks to the Commanding Officer and crew of HMS Tyne for their co-operation in making our demonstrations during DSEI a complete success."