Klein Marine Systems, a unit belonging to Mitcham Industries, will install its MA-X technology on a next-generation system for evaluation by the US Navy after securing a contract from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) manufacturer.

Mitcham Industries provides technology to the oceanographic, defence, hydrographic, seismic and security industries.

MA-X technology is claimed to be a cost-effective and high-quality gap-filler solution that is sought by the industry.

The company said that a nadir gap is created in the centre of the image in traditional side-scan sonar imaging. However, MA-X technology removes this gap, eliminating the need for overlapping survey lines time to achieve 100% coverage.

Mitcham said that this will enable operators of AUVs to extend the duration of the mission or reduce the time taken to cover the same area.

For the defence sector, the company said that the MA-X technology offers a major advantage in terms of the ability to produce high-quality imagery of the nadir area, which is comparable to the traditional side scan.

This facilitates the feeding of data acquired from MA-X directly into existing automatic target recognition (ATR) software, enabling the automated detection and recognition of targets of interest.

Mitcham co-CEO Guy Malden said: “We are very excited to be a part of this important US Navy program. We expect the continued acceptance of this technology to rapidly expand our product offerings for the underwater vehicle market.

“MA-X is another example of the innovation that Mitcham is committed to bringing to the industry.”

Mitcham Industries is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, US, with operating locations in elsewhere in the US, Canada, Singapore, the UK, Malaysia, Hungary, Colombia.

Seamap and Klein Marine Systems are part of the company’s Marine Technology Products segment, which designs, manufactures and sells specialised marine sonar and seismic equipment.

The Texan company offers exploration equipment to the seismic industry through its Equipment Leasing segment.