The SonarPoint system is the third generation of Desert Stars passive underwater acoustics monitoring toolkits. Derived from the MicroMARS, the SonarPoint is a modular recorder with localization capabilities, flexible storage capacities, long run-time, and easy to service components at an affordable price. As a continuation and improvement on MicroMars, SonarPoint incorporates field tested technology with highly precise localization capabilities. A modular design also means the mission flexibility and portability of SonarPoint is adequate for most any mission and deployment medium.
Flexible and Configurable
Endcap Integrated (Rugged)
Cabled (Free Field Performance)
MH33 (to 33 kHz)
MH125 (to 125kHz)
Gain (strong or weak signals)
Frequency Response (flat or sloped)
Specific Deployment Configurations for every mission
Array of fixed surface buoys moored to the ocean-floor
Array for rapid deployments and recovery
Rapid deployment for detection but not localization
Low Cost and Modular
Perhaps the most important aspect of any equipment is the cost. SonarPoint was developed specifically to serve as a low cost underwater acoustics monitoring system without sacrificing recording function, serviceability or lifetime. At a base price of $3,500 US, SonarPoint is a low cost solution for an adaptable recorder with localization capabilities. Additionally, runtime, and maintenance for SonarPoint can be done from any boat due to its small size and easily serviceable modular design.
The low cost of the SonarPoint is due in part to its modular design. Encased in Delrin pipe, an electronic stack resides within the main housing of the SonarPoint. Sd card as well as the lithium ion battery can be easily replaced and serviced without the need for advance knowledge. The hydrophone endcap can also be replaced or tuned to specific recording frequencies. Infact, SonarPoint toolkits are easily serviceable from any deployment medium from large research vessels to zodiacs and everything in between. The modular design also means retrieval of data is easy. The 300 meter depth single battery model holds four sd card compartments each with two slots (4x2=8 Sd Cards). At the time of this writing, the highest capacity sd card in standard production is limited to 512GB, which would yield a total capacity of just over 4 tb or 8 tb for the extended four battery model. However, depending on mission purpose, configuration options and run-time, sd storage capacity can easily be configured at low cost to each specific project/mission. The onboard lithium ion battery is housed directly under the electronic stack making replacement a simple and quick process.
Additionally, your SonarPoint(s) hydrophone end cape is customizable and easily replaceable. You may consider choosing a low gain end-cap for strong signals and a high gain end-cap for weak signals. Hydrophones with a sloped frequency response are also possible where strong low frequency sounds may be monitored while monitoring for faint high frequency vocalizations.
Battery Lifetime and Depth Rating
Your SonarPoint has varying lifetimes based on chosen sampling rate and purchased model. Table 1.0 below illustrates the approximate battery lifetimes based on sampling rates. Black indicates a single battery model (SP300-1) and red indicates a four battery model (SP300-8, or SP1000-8)
General Model Breakdown
|Model||Battery Quantity||Depth Rating (meters)||Storage Capacity (TB)|
|Sample Rate (kHz)||Endurance (days)||Memory (GB)||SD Cards (GB)|
|25||27 / 115||108 / 463||64 * 2 / 64 * 8|
|100||22 / 96||359 / 1540||256 * 2 / 256 * 8|
|250||17 / 71||670 / 2876||512 * 2 / 512 * 8|
|416||13 / 56||871 / 3738||512 * 2 / 512 * 8|
SonarPoints external housing and parts are non-corrosive. The plastic is made out of bio-fowling resistant Delrin. All exposed screws are also titanium, a non-corrosive metal, while the optional buoy power/data port is also made from non-corrosive metals and comes with a protective cap if not used. Therefore, the SonarPoint’s lifetime limit is more so dictated by recovery since the external materials have such long life times.
Localization and Automatic Time Synchronization
Beyond standalone recording your SonarPoint has localization capabilities. If configured in a multi-recorder array, the SonarPoint is capable of localizing various marine mammal vocalizations to within a 1-3m accuracy (see “Localization” section). SonarPoint’s localization method relies on a differential time of arrival of each vocalization between the deployed recorders. Using this method, vocalizations may be plotted on a hyperbola relative to the recorder positions and DTOA.
In submerged arrays, time drift between recorders can influence the precision of localization. Therefore, SonarPoint has several mechanisms to reduce time drift, as well as account for said time drift in the post-retrieval phase. Upon powering on your SonarPoint device, an integrated GPS module will match the on board clock to within a microsecond of accuracy with true GPS time. On board clock drift while deployed is then minimized via a TCXO (temperature compensated crystal oscillator). For longer-term deployments, a pinger may also be used, which emits a signal every thirty seconds into each new recording segment. This ping is then measured between recorders, the difference in time received can be used to further minimize clock drift when the data is retrieved. In buoy systems, clock drift is not an issue as a GPS module in the buoy may receive true GPS time consistently and transmit that time via a tether to your SonarPoint.
Product - SonarPoint
Readiness Rating - Beta
Priority Level - Very High
Sales Rating - Unavailable