Sonar technology is anticipated to be a key safety feature of a polar research vessel currently being constructed.

FarSounder's longest range sonar system FarSounder-1000 is believed to be amongst the technology being installed on the British Antarctic Survey's RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Sally Dale, managing director of UK-based Pinpoint Electronics, the local FarSounder representative for the project, said: “Over my years in the industry, I have learned the best way to achieve the highest level of safety is by adding a FarSounder sonar to the navigation suite.”

The FarSounder sonar was primarily created for navigation and obstacle avoidance to help ensure vessel safety.

Its technology and the data it can generate is intended to supplement the more traditional onboard science mission sensors.

The sonar will be protected during icebreaking operations via a custom hoist designed and built by C4R Maritime Solutions of Frederikssund, Denmark, and tested in the lab at Force Maritime in Denmark.

Cammell Laird is currently constructing the USD$180m plus RRS Sir David Attenborough, owned by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) at the Cammell Laird Birkenhead shipyard in Birkenhead, UK.

The ice class vessel was designed to enable scientists to explore and undertake science in new areas of the Antarctic and Arctic seas.

Last year, FarSounder was used in the residential ship The World's excursion that reached the Ross Ice Shelf, the furthest south any vessel has ever sailed.

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Image credit: Fiona Hunt/flickr

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