In August 2008 Commander Rafael Widow of the Chilean navy took delivery of a SeaBat sonar system, which was fitted to the Submarine Tender Almirante Jose Torino Merino Castro.
Originally designed as a miner and auxiliary vessel, the ship was refitted and modernised in Sweden in 1997, when she was provided with all the equipment needed to fulfil her new role of Submarine Tender. Now, with the addition of the RESON SeaBat sonar system, the Merino will take on another new task, and change her position in the navy to that of a hydrographic role within the south coastal and blue water area, to determine the extension of the continental platform of Chile.
The refit of the Merino included the installation of SeaBat 8160 multibeam sonar and the NaviSound 630DS singlebeam echosounder.
The RESON SeaBat 8160 has a swath coverage greater than four × water depth, and can operate to depths of 3,000m. It consists of a linear receive and transmit array mounted on a support base, and also benefits from a pitch-stabilised transmitter and an active roll compensated receiver.
As it is compatible with other SeaBat sonar heads it can be updated in minutes to accommodate future requirements. The NaviSound 630DS is specifically designed for ocean research and provides high-quality soundings at depths of up to 6,000m. The 2kW transmitter, triple channel compatibility, continual data storage and tamper-resistant encryption make it an ideal partner for the SeaBat to offer an unrivalled combination of range, resolution and profitability, together with scope and depth of coverage.
At a factory acceptance test in Denmark in June, Commander Widow commented on the professionalism of the RESON team and the strength of support he received from RESON and the project manager.