Side Scan Sonar - Solstice


Solstice is a new generation of search and classify side scan sonar with integrated swath bathymetry that has been designed for small, medium and large AUVs for the provision of high resolution imagery that can be used for mine recognition and post-mission analysis. The imagery produced by Solstice is designed to be of the highest quality possible from a conventional (non-SAS) sonar and works best when deployed between 7 and 10 metres above the sea bed.

The sonar has been carefully designed so that it will give excellent results even in very shallow water, where other side scans suffer degradation due to multi-path effects. All of which is achieved whilst consuming typically only 18 Watts of power. The low power and wide swath results in long vehicle endurance and high area coverage rates.

Conventional side-scans are designed for operation in deep water. When required to operate in the littorals, noise from multi-path reverberation severely reduces the contrast of the imagery. Solstice has been designed to produce high-contrast imagery even in very shallow water. It employs a unique array technology which allows wide swath coverage (±100m) at high resolution normally associated with wide vertical beamwidth, whilst providing the shadow contrast associated with very narrow vertical beams.

Feature Solstice 1000 Solstice 2000 Solstice 3000 Solstice 4000/4500
Hydrophone array length 672 mm 672 mm 672 mm 1344 mm
Bathymetry No No Yes Yes
Frequency band­ (see note) 725 to 775 kHz 725 to 775 kHz 725 to 775 kHz 725 to 775 kHz
System bandwidth 20 kHz 20 kHz 20 kHz 20 kHz
Swath 200 m 200 m 200 m 200 m
Maximum depth rating 300 m 300 m 300 m 300 m
Typical power consumption (operating) 10 Watts 16 Watts 18 Watts 28 Watts
Typical power consumption (standby) 7.5 Watts 7.5 Watts 7.5 Watts 7.5 Watts
Maximum area coverage rate (includes coverage of nadir region) 1.6 km2hr-1@ 3 ms-1 1.6 km2hr-1@ 3 ms-1 1.6 km2hr-1@ 3 ms-1  1.6 km2hr-1@ 3 ms-1 /3.2 km2hr-1@ 6 ms-1