Kongsberg Mesotech introduced the Clariscan domed scanning sonar earlier this year. The Clariscan sonar is now ready for delivery to customers, as of 30 June 2016. With the Clariscan domed scanning sonar, Kongsberg Mesotech has significantly improved sonar performance with a patented lens that refocuses the acoustic energy, producing images that are much clearer.
These images were all obtained during deep water testing in the Gulf of Mexico. The three images below show the Clariscan sonar on the left, compared to a standard 1171 domed sonar with composite transducer on right. The two sonar heads were mounted on the same ROV and thus exposed to the same temperature, pressure and salinity conditions at time of image capture.
In the 1990s, designers enclosed transducers in an oil-filled dome to provide mechanical protection and eliminate flooding due to O-ring failure on the exposed transducer shaft. While the oil-filled dome solved the O-ring flooding failures, it introduced beam defocusing in two conditions, warm & shallow and cold & deep. The beam defocusing effect becomes more extreme in cold deep water as depth increases. Until now, there has been no solution to this problem, aside from using a Hi-Res sonar head.
Sonar can be Upgraded
Kongsberg Mesotech has a substantial installed base of 1171 domed sonars. Most of these sonar can be upgraded to Clariscan.
The transducer and coupling used in the existing 1171 sonar (975-21030000 and variants) will no longer be available. If a replacement transducer and/or coupling is required, the new transducer and coupling will be supplied. Initially, upgrade kits will be offered for installation by authorised service locations.
The upgrade procedure is essentially the same as replacing the monolithic transducer and coupling and only takes approximately 5 hours.