Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

Charting the Undersea World

October 25, 2013 by lauren

There’s a company in Our Backyard that is sailing the world over. FarSounder develops advanced long-range, 3D, forward-looking sonars and underwater diver-detection devices for yachts, commercial vessels and naval uses. Mounted on the hull of the ships, the system produces a complete 3D image with a single ping. System capabilities include 360º detection of divers and other threats, shallow water and submerged obstructions like cargo containers.

From their office in Warwick, FarSounder sees applications stretching back to the 1700s and ahead to the 21st century. For example, they are working with a customer on a custom sonar solution that can identify specific species of fish. “That helps fishermen pursue the most lucrative type of fish. It enables them to target species quicker and more efficiently. Even if catch limits are not reached, it still has tremendous economic and environmental benefits like reducing the amount of sea life that is caught unintentionally. It’s a real solution to sustainability for the industry and the fish,” says designer Matt Coolidge.

Vice President Matt Zimmerman says FarSounder’s sonar products have the potential to revolutionize the shipping. “Sections of some nautical maps date from the voyages of Captain Cook in the 18th century. Now that the Arctic ice cap is melting, new routes are opening up. We’ve had a number of customers use our products to take them safely through the Northwest Passage.”