Wideband Acoustic Coherence: Enhanced Monitoring & Measurement (WACEMM)


Heriot-Watt University
Hydrason Solutions Ltd.

Start date:

June 2015


Until September 2016

Project abstract

Hydrason Solutions designs and manufactures advanced sonar systems for underwater acoustic surveys, providing solutions to industry challenges that cannot be tackled with existing sensors. Where standard sonar produces black and white images, Hydrason’s technology provides contextual ‘colour’, adding information that can identify, for example, seabed types or man-made objects.

The company’s Wideband Sonar (WBS) system has set new standards for acoustic object detection and identification in complex environments, recovering information unavailable to a conventional imaging system. Already proven in Ministry of Defence and Offshore Exploration and Production (E&P) backed trials, the WBS system is unique in being able to accurately locate an underwater object and identify its structure and composition without making any direct contact. This is particularly useful in providing solutions to challenges in areas such as subsea or coastal surveying, asset and integrity management, and flow assurance.

This project brings Hydrason together with researchers from the Ocean Systems Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University to investigate how WBS may be further enhanced by HWU’s WACEMM smart imaging system. Combining advances in high-resolution acoustic imaging with the information-rich context provided by wideband sonar and new coherence processing methods will see the project aim to further improve underwater object recognition, allowing the WBS system to provide even greater environmental, seabed and structural detail to users.

Project Impact

The project outcomes have the potential to give Hydrason a critical competitive edge in its existing marketplaces, while also allowing for expansion into new markets such as fisheries surveying. In turn, the project many also have a positive impact on the wider Scottish supply chain and provide new business opportunities for Hydrason’s manufacturing partners.

Further Reading

For more information, please read the press release. The project was featured in several print and online titles on 17 and 18 December 2015 (The National, Scotsman, Aberdeen Press and Journal, The Engineer), and was covered in several television and radio broadcasts from BBC Scotland.

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