Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


3D Sonar Technology Made in Germany - High-resolution 3D imaging on short distances


The technology of sonar is used for many years in the field of seafloor mapping, in the fishery industry or for the search for sunken objects. By the help of new 3D sonar systems of the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT, these tasks can be accomplished more efficiently and precisely. The Business Unit Sonar concentrates research and development activities in the field of acoustic underwater measurements. One focus is on the high-resolution volumetric sonar imaging at distances up to 25 m.

The Fraunhofer IBMT exhibits at this year's OCEANS conference in Aberdeen from June 19-22, 2017 (Booth No. 4).

The technology of sonar - the measurement of structures under water with sound signals - is used for many years in the field of seafloor mapping, in the fishery industry or for the search for sunken objects. The sonar systems used for these tasks are usually designed for long measurement distances and therefore provide a rather low spatial resolution.

Real-time 3D sonar camera

Fraunhofer IBMT

3D reconstruction of a measurement object

Fraunhofer IBMT

Many applications under water demand a high-resolution visualization of the surrounding environment on short distances. Optical video cameras are often used for this purpose. However, these systems are often inapplicable in turbid waters leading to the abort of operations in some cases. By the help of new 3D sonar systems, these tasks can be accomplished more efficiently and precisely.

The Business Unit Sonar of the Main Department of Ultrasound at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT in Sulzbach (Germany) concentrates the previous and the future research and development activities in the field of acoustic underwater measurements.

One focus of the recent research and development is on the high-resolution volumetric sonar imaging at distances up to 25 m. High-resolution in this context means the imaging of structures in the range of some centimeters at distances of few meters. At the moment, three different imaging sonar systems are available as demonstrators which are used for labor and field measurements on various objects and structures.

One of these systems, a multibeam echosounder (MBES), generates a sound fan, which is moved along the measurement object. While doing so, the position of the sonar antenna is tracked continuously via GPS so that the single image slices can be subsequently merged correctly to form an accurate representation of the measured structure. The system is suitable for all kinds of measurements on stationary structures from distances up to 15 m.

Real-time 3D imaging

If dynamic processes are supposed to be visualized, a volumetric imaging in real-time is necessary. For this purpose, two additional sonar systems have been developed. Due to their operational mode, these systems provide a three-dimensional visualization of their environment from a fixed position. And this with the same high spatial resolution as the multibeam echosounder.

One of these systems is constructed in a pressure-resistant version, so that even a deep-sea operation up to 600 bar can be performed. Additionally, a miniaturization of the systems is in progress.

Besides the 3D imaging systems, the Fraunhofer IBMT is developing other sonar systems like a sediment penetrating sub-bottom-profiler for the measurement of sedimentary layers in the seafloor with centimeter precision.

The Fraunhofer IBMT presents the whole range of its sonar technologies at this year's OCEANS conference in Aberdeen from 19th to 22nd of June (Booth No. 4). Here, interested industrial companies as well as research groups can inform about the competences and services of the Business Unit Sonar.


Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ehrhardt
Business Unit Sonar
Fraunhofer-Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT
Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Weg 1
66280 Sulzbach
Fon: +49 6897 / 9071 330
Fax: +49 6897 / 9071 302

Weitere Informationen:

Dipl.-Phys. Annette Maurer | Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik IBMT

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
11.01.2018 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

nachricht Environmental history told by sludge: Global warming lets the dead zones in the Black Sea grow
10.01.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

More VideoLinks >>>