Klein Marine Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitcham Industries, Inc. successfully concluded a week of trials and demonstrations in conjunction with the Mine Hunting Challenge and Industry Days in Zeebrugge, Belgium.
In the waters outside the Belgian Navy's Mine Hunting Training Center, Klein showcased the Klein 5900, its newest high-resolution, high-speed multi-beam side scan sonar towed by the Seagull, an advanced, highly configurable unmanned surface vehicle developed by Elbit Systems.
The Klein-Elbit team accepted the challenge to conduct their trials in difficult sea conditions to prove the seaworthiness of Seagull and the fact that the Klein 5900 is specifically designed to achieve SAS-like (or better) performance at survey speed in excess of 10 knots, even in problematic sea conditions. During these trials, the Klein 5900 performed exceptionally well in Beaufort sea states of up to Sea State 5 with wind gusts of 30 knots delivering, once again, superb mine classification and identification grade imagery.
Giuseppe Di Stefano, Klein Director of Marketing, said, "Thanks to its survey speed of 10-12 knots, the Klein 5900 was able to complete the assigned mission in record time, under the competent eyes of the Belgian and Dutch Navy. The 5900 proved to be one of the most advanced seafloor imaging instruments, yet rugged and reliable in a variety of sea conditions. Klein’s innovative compression algorithms allowed for real-time full resolution image transmission over a radio link from the Seagull to the Belgian Navy Coast Patrol Vessel Pollux - a feature designed to enable more rapid decisions by the MCM combat center."
The success of the Mine Countermeasure Challenge week was further reinforced by the excellent results reported by Oceanscan-MST, whose underwater vehicle was equipped with a Klein UUV-3500 dual simultaneous frequency 455kHz/900kHz side scan sonar. The uncompromised design of the arrays and the wide-band, low noise electronics of the UUV-3500 allow for an image quality which is comparable with competing systems operating at 1600 kHz but with the advantage of far superior range performance.
The official results from the Mine Countermeasure Trials are expected to be communicated by the Belgian Navy to the participants after the summer.