Cerulean’s first imaging sonar is a forward looking, 240 kHz, 100m range, 100m depth rated system. Four receive transducer modules provide 16 channels each for a total of 64 channels, and 1 degree effective beam width. The transmit beam ensonifies a 90 degree horizontal by 20 degree vertical area.

Insight-240 Alpha unit shown with optional servo tilt mounting bracket.

Insight-240 Alpha unit shown with optional servo tilt mounting bracket.

Video from Insight-240 of sunken 1890’s wooden barge in Lake Minnetonka, MN. The sonar was about 15m above the bottom and you can see the affect of the vertical tilt adjustments as the range changes.

Mechanical Scanning vs. Multibeam Technology

Mechanical scanning sonar devices like the Blue Robotics Ping-360 physically rotate their transducer to scan a sector in front or around the vehicle. A ping is transmitted into the water typically at 1 degree position increments. After the echoes have been received the transducer is rotated to the next angle increment and the process repeats. Depending on the range and the angular step size, each image could take tens of seconds to update. It is important that the ROV remains stationary during the imaging process or the image will be distorted.

Cerulean’s new forward-looking sonar takes a different approach. Instead of a single mechanically rotated transducer, the Insight-240 uses multibeam technology with rapid update and no moving parts to provide a video-like image. A single broad beam transmit transducer ensonifies (acoustically illuminates) a sector approximately 90 degree horizontally by 20 degrees vertically. There are 64 separate receive transducers which collect the echoes from the single broad beam transmission pulse. These 64 receive signals are electronically combined into an image in a process known as "beamforming." Since every ping generates a full image, multibeam technology gives a video like display which can be viewed in real time vastly improving situational awareness.

Application, Pricing, Availability

The Insight-240 is ideally suited for target detection, location, navigation and general situational awareness regardless of visibility conditions.

Estimated pricing: $9995 base unit. Optional mounting bracket with servo tilt mechanism $1495.

Limited Alpha test program underway. General availability Q1 2022.

Insight-240 Alpha unit with optional servo tilt mounting bracket mounted on Blue-ROV.