Domed Scanning Sonar

Clariscan is KONGSBERG’s latest innovation in domed sonar technology. Clariscan combines the Company’s wide-bandwidth composite transducer with a patented acoustic lens to provide unprecedented image clarity from a domed sonar head.

Domed Sonar Background

In the 1990s, designers enclosed the transducer in an oil-filled dome to provide mechanical protection and eliminate flooding due to O-ring failure on the traditional exposed transducer shaft. While the oil-filled dome solved the O-ring flooding failures, it introduced beam defocusing in two conditions, warm & shallow and cold & deep. The beam defocusing effect becomes more extreme in warm shallow water as temperature increases and cold deep water as depth increases. Until now, there has been no solution to this problem, aside from using a high-resolution scanning sonar head.

Innovative Lens Technology

Our engineers solved this problem by designing a patented acoustic lens that maintains beam focus through operational temperature and depth changes, significantly improving sonar performance and resulting in images that are much sharper. The Clariscan acoustic lens behaves like an optical contact lens, correcting the refraction caused by the oil in the dome. Clariscan is currently available in a 4000M depth-rated version.


Obstacle avoidance, Pipeline survey, Target detection, and Underwater construction support are key applications of the Clariscan domed scanning sonar. Deep water testing in the Gulf of Mexico clearly showed the difference in image quality between the Clariscan sonar head and the standard domed sonar with composite transducer. The two sonar heads were mounted side by side on an ROV and thus exposed to the same temperature, pressure and salinity conditions, and were operated simultaneously during image capture. The three images below clearly show the image quality of the Clariscan sonar (left image) is superior and rivals that of a high-resolution scanning sonar head.

Key features

  • Patented acoustic lens design
  • Maintains beam focus through operational temperature and depth changes
  • Significantly improves sonar performance
  • Available in a 4000M depth-rated version


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