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GeoAcoustics Ltd PulSAR - high resolution side scan sonar

Pulsar acquires high resolution acoustic images of the seabed by using a rugged tow fish that can be easily operated with a water protected deck unit and small cable hand reel. Large areas can be surveyed efficiently revealing small objects and structures in great detail. The system is ideal for search and recovery operations, underwater inspection as well as engineering and scientific surveys.

  • GeoAcoustics Ltd PulSAR - high resolution side scan sonar
GeoAcoustics Ltd
Shuttleworth Close
NR31 0NQ Great Yarmouth
United Kingdom
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The system operates in a frequency range of 550 kHz to 1 MHz. Within this bandwidth source signals, both FM and CW, can be selected in order to optimise the range and resolution for the given survey task.

The set-up comprises a compact stainless steel towfish, which is towed from a 100 m long soft tow cable. The cable can be paid out from a compact hand reel, which uses slip rings so that it stays connected to the deck unit via a ded­icated deck cable during operation. Optionally various soft tow and armoured cables, up to 300 m length, are available.

The deck unit has been designed for use on small vessels like open RIBs and is therefore water protected (IP64) and can be battery or mains powered, 24 VDC or 110/230 VAC respectively. It has an integrated GPS system that provides positioning information with SBAS differential corrections. Alternatively an external positioning system can be con­nected via a serial port.

The system is delivered with a dedicated software package to be run on a customer laptop computer connected via Ethernet to the deck unit. It allows the user to plan and conduct the survey and acquire sonar data with embedded positioning information. The data can be processed, visual­ised and interpreted in the software package and exported in industry standard formats to third party packages for further use.

The system is designed for easy deployment and intuitive operation. It can be operated by non-specialised personnel for quickly carrying out effective surveys using vessels of opportunity in search and recovery (SAR) missions.

Underwater inspection and engineering surveys can also easily be conducted without large overheads for survey platforms and survey specialists.

The high resolution achievable with the system results in seafloor maps with detail that may form the basis for sci­entific investigation in areas such as marine geology and geophysics as well as marine archaeology.


  • Year of introduction
  • System type
    Stand alone
  • Mode of operation
    Single frequency
  • Location of digitation
  • Model name
  • Min. AC power [V]
  • Max. AC power [V]
  • Min. DC power [V]
  • Max. DC power [V]
  • Power consumption [W]
  • Data processing and imaging capabilities
    Optional Pulsar software of SonarWiz 7
  • Standard system interfacing capabilities
    xtf output
  • Generation of firing trigger
  • Model identification
  • Length [m]
  • Width [m]
  • Height [m]
  • Weight in air [kg]
  • Max. depth rating [m]
  • Deployment methods
    Towed or Over The Side Mounted
  • Type of Cable supported
    Coaxial - either softtow or armoured
  • Max. length of cable [m]
  • Winch type recommended
    Hand winch for shorted cable lengths, optional powered winch for upto 300m availible
  • Min. frequency [kHz]
  • Max. frequency [kHz]
  • Source level [dB]
  • Max. Range [m]
  • Min. beam width [deg]
  • Max. beam width [deg]
  • Min. vertical beam width [deg]
  • Max. vertical beam width [deg]
  • Max. horizontal resolution [cm]
  • Max. operating speed [kt]
  • Application
    Search & Recovery, Survey, Debris Location, Ship Wreck Survey, Site Survey
  • Distinguishable features
    Selectable frequency without changing transducers. Easy to use and deploy.

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