Kraken Robotics to test Katfish sonar system with Canadian Navy

According to a press release published by Kraken Robotics on October 26, 2021, the company is pleased to announce that it has signed a Robotics as a Service (RaaS) contract with the Canadian government for testing of Kraken’s ultra-high-resolution survey equipment with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Katfish sonar system (Picture source: Elbit Systems)

This $0.5 million contract is funded under the Canadian government’s Innovative Solutions Canada program, and the testing department for this service offering is the RCN’s Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic (FDU-A) based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The RCN has the mandate to develop and maintain an advanced sonar imaging and data storage capability for all three coasts, and to deploy this capability to national and international areas of interest.

Under the contract, Kraken will deploy its KATFISH™ towed SAS sonar system and will integrate a Kraken Light Weight SAS (LW-SAS) onboard a REMUS 100 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) owned by FDU-A. This contract will be completed by March 31, 2022.

This contract will provide the RCN FDU-A access to cutting-edge technology and high-resolution seabed data.

FDU-A uses a number of different seabed imaging sonar solutions for their various mission requirements, including Towed Sonars Systems (typically deployed from a Kingston-class MCDV vessel, with a crew of 40 persons), and Light Weight Sonar Systems (typically deployed from REMUS-class AUVs).

Towed KATFISH™ Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) system, deployed on a Surface Vessel of Opportunity (the R/V Ocean Seeker). This could also be tested onboard an RCN Asset (such as the Kingston-class MCDV).

Untethered Light Weight SAS system, deployed on an RCN Underwater Vessel of Opportunity (REMUS 100 AUV), and tested with the KATFISH™ system above.

KATFISH™ is a high-speed, actively stabilized Synthetic Aperture Sonar towfish that operates at speeds up to 10 knots. The high speed capability of KATFISH™ when compared to the slower moving ROVs or unstabilized towed sidescan sonar and AUVs, greatly increases Area Coverage Rates (ACR) therefore reducing operating time and cost.