by Des Ryan
Most inventions for the top end of the maritime market eventually trickle their way down to the cruising sailor. When AIS was first introduced it seemed unthinkable that within just a few short years most sailing boat owners were able to save just a few cents more to acquire their own version. This could be the same with NOAS.
NOAS - how long before the technology trickles down to the cruising sailor?
This year at the annual Monaco Yacht Show, Sonardyne International Ltd. is debuting its new forward looking collision avoidance system for yachts, NOAS.
Visitors can be the first to see how the new sonar system can detect underwater navigation hazards up to one kilometre away, dramatically reducing the risk of yacht collisions and groundings. With the added capability of underwater intruder detection, the introduction of NOAS brings about major improvements for yacht safety and security.
The advantage for cruising sailors, who are frequently in remote, badly charted waters is immediately obvious, but the price tag would deter most.
NOAS has been developed to meet the demand from larger yacht owners and their captains for a simple to use, real time obstacle avoidance and warning system whether they are out at sea or approaching an unfamiliar harbour.
NOAS meets these requirements with its three main operating modes. When a yacht is underway, a 2-D imaging mode provides long range navigation information out to 1,500 metres.
When approaching shallow or poorly chartered areas, a high definition 3-D imaging mode scans the water column to detect and graphically visualise obstacles directly in the path of the vessel, including the sea bottom, up to 150 metres away.
Designed by the same team that developed Sonardyne’s market leading Sentinel diver detection sonar, an intruder detection alarm mode can be incorporated into the NOAS system. When a yacht is at anchor or in a harbour, NOAS continuously monitors a 360 degree area below the yacht to detect, track and identify underwater intruders approaching the yacht, warning the crew of the approaching threat.
'The requirement for obstacle avoidance is accelerating across the yachting industry, with many owners wanting to take every precaution possible to protect their yachts, guests and crew,' said Ross Gooding, Sonardyne Business Development Manager for Maritime Security.
Maybe it will be a while before the general yachting community regards these as a 'must-have', but the time lag might be shorter than you think!