Maritime technology specialist Sonardyne International Ltd. has introduced a collision avoidance capability for naval, commercial, passenger and private vessels with its new Vigilant forward-looking sonar (FLS). Providing live and past vessel tracking, detailed 3D bathymetry out to 600m and automated warnings of unseen collision hazards on and beneath the waterline out to 1.5km, Vigilant FLS provides sub-surface situational awareness.

Compact in size and with mounting options for both new build and refit, Vigilant is suitable for vessels of all sizes and types. When underway, it provides crew with an early warning of hazards, from rocks and wrecks to sand banks and otherwise hidden, below-the-surface obstacles, over a 90-degree field of view. Vigilant is also unmanned surface vessel (USV)-ready, with its output able to be utilised by autopilots for remote control and autonomous over-the-horizon operations. 

Vigilant provides two operational modes: 3D and sonar, which helmsman and can seamlessly toggle between. Sonar mode detects obstacles in the water out to more than 1,500m, giving large vessels in particular valuable time to react. The system’s configurable alarms ensure hazards are not overlooked during periods of high operator workload.

In 3D mode, users are able to view an easy to interpret, real-time generated three-dimensional colour map of the bathymetry out to 600m, clearly identifying between safe and unsafe areas, while sonar mode continues in the background, at the selected range. Users are also able to view a profile display, showing the depth of any obstacles on the vessel’s heading or a specific bearing.

Vigilant offers multiple mounting and integration options including permanent, through-hull deployment and interfacing with third-party command and control systems or electronic charting displays and is suitable for both new builds and already commissioned vessels.

“Every day, we hear of ships of all types and all over the world running aground or colliding with unseen submerged objects, sadly including endangered mammals and ecosystems,” comments Derek Lynch, Sonardyne’s global business manager for marine vessel systems.

“The costs and consequences in all respects can be enormous. These incidents occur for many different reasons, some human, some technical, but in every case, there is a lack of subsurface situational awareness. Vigilant is an invaluable tool to help mariners avoid these situations.”


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