Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

From Warwick to the White House

June 3, 2015 by chris

farsounder threat detection screenshotInnovation is taking a Warwick company to the White House. The U.S. Small Business Administration will honor FarSounder at a White House ceremony June 15 with a 2015 Tibbetts Award for exemplary work in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

No wonder. FarSounder develops advanced long-range, 3D, forward-looking sonars and underwater-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. Their security system capabilities include 360-degree detection of divers and other threats, shallow water, and submerged underwater obstructions like cargo containers.

“We are pleased to see that the federal government has recognized how unique and how important our technology is,” says FarSounder CEO Cheryl Zimmerman. “Forward Looking Sonar is a 21st-century tool that allow ship operators to see what is under the water in front of them – before they run aground – and offers protection from underwater threats.”

FarSounder is a national leader in real-time, 3D sonar systems and its products are installed on all types of ships to help them avoid underwater dangers. Exports represent 85 percent of product sales. SBIR Phase I and II contracts from the Department of Homeland Security enabled FarSounder to fast-track development of its breakthrough technology.

The Tibbetts Award is named for the late Roland Tibbetts, widely credited as being the “Father” of today’s SBIR/STTR programs. The honor recognizes innovation that benefits the federal government’s research and development needs, the general public’s wellbeing, and the nation’s economy through technological innovation and the creation of high-quality jobs.