Defence scientists in Arctic conduct sonar and robotic experiments

August 28, 2014 - via Defence Research and Development Canada

DRDC is involved in the Joint Arctic Experiment 2014. That focuses on the employment of unmanned and autonomous systems and communication systems. The experiment will be held at CFS Alert. This photo of a robotic vehicle from the experiments was posted on a DRDC twitter page….but it prompted some snide comments such as: “So let me get this straight US gets high-tech unmanned bombers and we get this…”

Any ways…..other DRDC northern news from Parks Canada:
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), an agency of the Department of National Defence, is involved in some of the new technologies that will be used in this year’s expedition. The Arctic Explorer, for instance, is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) made by International Submarine Engineering Ltd of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, and equipped with high-resolution synthetic aperture sonar made by Kraken Sonar Systems Inc of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and an acoustic homing-system made by Omnitech Incorporated of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This new technology adds to Canada’s achievements in the areas of glaciology and ice movement, and navigation. This year, DRDC will also conduct a series of experiments on the performance of sonar-imaging technologies in extremely low water temperatures.

Several other agencies will support the Victoria Strait Project by providing much needed scientific data. The Canadian Space Agency’s renowned RADARSAT-2 satellite will provide satellite imagery of the areas, enabling another partner, the Canadian Ice Service, to analyze the type, extent and movement of sea ice.  The Canadian Space Agency will also provide other satellite-based data and analysis, including optical imagery of uncharted shorelines.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) will support the Victoria Strait Expedition by providing the Arctic Explorer, an autonomous underwater vehicle equipped with a state-of-the-art sonar system. More than seven metres in length, the Arctic Explorer is a long-endurance vehicle that produces high-resolution images of the seafloor over a much greater range than previous sonar systems. The deployment of the Arctic Explorer will showcase Canada’s innovative and world-leading technologies.

Manufactured by International Submarine Engineering Ltd, of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, under a joint-development agreement with Natural Resources Canada, the Arctic Explorer completed under-ice surveys in support of Canada’s UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) submission. This year, the vehicle is equipped with an AquaPix Synthetic Aperture Sonar, designed and manufactured by Kraken Sonar Systems Inc, of St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador, and an acoustic homing system manufactured by Omnitech Incorporated of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

While in the Arctic, DRDC will also undertake several experiments to assess and understand the impact that low water temperatures have on the performance of various types of imaging sonars. Data from the experiments will be used to validate existing sonar models, and to inform the Royal Canadian Navy’s decisions about future sonar acquisitions.

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Author:David Pugliese