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Evaluation of a high-resolution real-time capable 3D sonar camera for deep sea operation

: Ehrhardt, M.; Becker, F.J.; Speicher, D.; Fonfara, H.; Hewener, H.; Fournelle, M.; Degel, C.; Tretbar, S.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; Marine Technology Society -MTS-; IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society:
MTS/IEEE Monterey OCEANS 2016 : 19-23 September 2016, Monterey
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5090-1527-6 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-5090-1537-5
Oceans Conference and Exhibition (OCEANS) <2016, Monterey/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

In this work we present the evaluation results of our 3D sonar camera system. The system consists of a matrix antenna array with 1024 single transducer elements and our in house developed DiPhAS sonar beamformer - a 128 channel FPGA-based beamforming system with a 1:8 multiplexing device for each channel. The system is designed to be applicable to ROV and AUV systems for real-time volumetric imaging in a deep sea environment. Defocused excitation of the transducer array is used to achieve a sound field opening angle of up to 40° in lateral and elevational direction. The antenna's sound field can be adjusted electronically in order to increase either the imaged area or the image contrast in a specific area of interest. Different filter algorithms working on a raw data basis have been implemented in order to suppress image artifacts which occur during the reconstruction process. Measurements on different phantoms have been performed in order to prove the real-time imaging as well as spatial resolution capabilities of the camera system.