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Integration and Field Trials of a High-Resolution Multi-beam Sonar on the Remote Mine hunting Vehicle Dorado

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Technical Report

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Defence Research and Development Canada - Atlantic Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada

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In early 2003, a Reson 8125 high-resolution, multi-beam bathymetric sonar system was installedon the DRDC Atlantic remote mine-hunting vehicle. The Dorado vehicle, a component of the Remote Mine-hunting System RMS, is a semi-submersible, remotely controlled drone designed totow an actively stabilized sidescan sonar towfish. The multi-beam sonar processor was integrated with the on-board data telemetry system, taking advantage of existing vehicle position and attitude sensors. The RMS and multi-beam sonar were then tested in a field trial near Brest, France in Mayand June, 2003, as part of a larger collaborative mine-hunting demonstration. The multi-beam sonar was successfully used to chart the bathymetry of the approaches to Brest Harbour, and for high resolution surveys of a shipwreck, and a practice minefield. Processed results of these surveys are presented demonstrating basic capability of the system for mine detection, obstacle avoidance and as a mission planning tool. The integration of high-resolution bathymetric information has the potential to improve mine-hunting operation in areas such as survey route planning and sidescan image slope correction.

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