Kraken Robotics, Canada is hoping to increase its footprint in the ‘seabed intelligence’ market with its KATFISH-branded, towed synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) solution. Developed to conduct time-efficient, high-res seabed surveys, the KATFISH was recently demonstrated at several international naval exercises, including the US-hosted Advanced Naval Technology Expo (ANTX), prompting Kraken to announce its intentions in this field.
The company states: “The war in the Ukraine, and the recent sabotage of the Nord Stream underwater pipelines in the Baltic Sea, is bringing increased focus on the growing demand for underwater technologies capable of providing seabed intelligence when and where it is most needed. Every nation is now acutely aware of the threat and potential impact of various state and non-state actors engaging in sabotage of energy and communications infrastructure on or beneath the seafloor.
“Today, more than 400 undersea data cables carry about 98% of international internet data and telephone traffic around the world. With so many nations depending on the thousands of kilometres of subsea pipelines, power and communications cables that traverse the ocean floor, there is a real and present danger of sabotage to subsea infrastructure.” Additionally, the KATFISH could be used for UXO clean-up missions, as a significant number of existing mine-hunter vessels are ageing and/or about to become obsolete, Kraken says.
The KATFISH has been deployed by various vessels and drones sized 12-80m in length, and has a tow speed of 4-10knots. The drone provides constant 30mm x 30mm resolutions, regardless of range, and offers area coverage rates of up to 4km2/hr with swaths of up to 400m, including full swath 3D bathymetry.