When purchasing or chartering a yacht, a large part of the decision is regarding the look and feel of the yacht and the view you will get from your destination of choice. But, an important decision to consider is what your journey looks like, where you can’t see. Forward-Looking Sonar (FLS) ensures the safety of your yacht and its guests by visualising the seabed under the yacht and your path ahead.
Daniamant: Safety Equipment Specialists
Daniamant specialises in the development and manufacturing of safety equipment for the commercial and leisure marine industry. Safety at sea is the core mission for Daniamant and it strives to produce and develop products that will save lives at sea. As the world’s leading manufacturer of life jacket lights, Daniamant feels an obligation to ensure the safety of all people at sea. Its motto, Safe People, Safe Systems, Safe Sailing, runs deep in the organisation and Daniamant always has its sights on maximising its contribution to the safety of the marine industry, continuously striving to develop its products to exceed the marine safety standards.
The Danish-based marine electronics company acquired 100% of the UK based company EchoPilot who specialised in the design, development, and manufacturing of advanced Forward-Looking Sonars in September 2017. The forward-looking 2D and 3D sonars will widen the Daniamant product range and fit in the company’s “Safe Sailing” segment. Forward-Looking Sonars are aimed to enhance the vessel’s safety in uncharted waters and remote areas by scanning and displaying the seabed in front of the vessel.
EchoPilot Forward Looking Sonar
EchoPilot patented the world’s first real-time Forward-Looking Sonar in 1992. Then in 2012 EchoPilot invented and patented the 3D Forward Looking Sonar product. Over its 40-year history, EchoPilot has designed 45 different marine instruments and manufactured 140,000+ units that have been sold globally. Daniamant will now expand the sales and marketing via its distribution network and via EchoPilot’s established distribution network.
The new version of 3D Forward Looking Sonar was released in January 2018 by Daniamant. It is a revolutionary collision avoidance device designed specifically for the leisure market. It has two different computers that process all the rendering of data. The first has a transducers interface, which in combination with a complicated algorithm, maps out how the sea bed looks. This filtered data is then sent through to a visual processor, which takes the data and puts it into a 3D image. The algorithm itself is so complex but finally, a Bulgarian mathematics professor managed to design an algorithm that works and makes the EchoPilot so unique.
The visual processor, which was running at an update rate of 2 seconds, was redesigned through huge amounts of research and investment, this was able to shorten the update rate and now means that captains can get live updates of the seabed visual every 1 second. This is a revolutionary change that can make the real difference between hitting something or not. This is almost a real-time system.
It is a very complex technology however, in simpler terms, the transducers scan in a 90-degree forward view. They send out a ping at a 200khz frequency. When the sound is received back, depending on the time it takes to send the sound back, you can identify its distance. The EchoPilot 3D FLS has a 100m depth range and a forward distance range of 200m. The EchoPilot FLS 3D FLS displays a 3-dimensional representation of the underwater scene ahead of the boat. The seabed terrain and potential hazards are shown, for the first time, with unparalleled realism. The importance of forward-looking sonar technology is the depth to range ratio. EchoPilot has a staggering 20 x depth ratio! This means that you can see 100 meters ahead with only 5 meters of water underneath your boat. This is the highest ratio in Forward-Looking Sonar technology!
The Future for Daniamant and EchoPilot
So, what does the future look like for Daniamant and EchoPilot? In response to continual customer and distributor feedback, they are always looking for new ways to improve their forward-looking sonar technology. A lot of research and resources are put into software, transducer, and hardware development to ensure the EchoPilot Forward-Looking Sonar range remains a world-class product and a must-have sonar for yacht owners.
Daniamant is always trying to revolutionize forward-looking sonar technology and is currently working on projects involving autonomous vessels, sonar for amphibious vehicles and port authority security. The scope for how and where this technology could work is endless, which is, of course, the foundation of fantastic development.
Although they are a small company, they have a worldwide marketplace. The EchoPilot 3D FLS is a must-have for yacht or superyacht owners. It is possible to retrofit, but as the vessel does need to be drydocked in order to install the transducers directly into the hull this can add to the cost of the refit.
The EchoPilot 3D Forward Looking Sonar will have a live display at the Airmar stand at FLIBS. To get more information and see the FLS 3D live visit the Airmar stand in the Blue Zone Marine Electronics 381.
For more information on the FLS 3D click here: https://echopilot.com/products/fls-3d/
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