HF Sonar Performance in Whitecaps and Wakes
AbstractA HF sonar performance sea-trial was conducted on the CCGS VECTOR April 8 to 14, 2015 in BC south coast waters. This sea-trial was focused on assessing the limitations to horizontally-oriented HF sonar performance posed by naturally-occurring (e.g. due to white-capping) and ship-wake bubbles. A 90kHz multibeam sonar was operated from the ship against both drifting and towed targets. Forward-looking sonar detection tests were conducted in Sea States from 0 to 5. In low sea-states the drifting targets were routinely observed at ranges up to 550m, but the detection range was significantly reduced under higher sea-states. The aft-looking sonar tests, designed to test target detectability in the ship wake, utilized a towed target at distances from 50m to 500m behind the ship at speeds from 5 to 7knots. Generally the towed target was visible at all ranges except in the close vicinity (<40m) of the stern.
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