ST. JOHN’S, NL–(Marketwired – September 08, 2017) – Kraken Sonar Inc. (TSX VENTURE: PNG) (OTCQB: KRKNF), a marine technology company dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors and underwater robotic systems, is very pleased to announce that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Kraken Sonar Systems Inc., working with the program organizers OEX Recovery Group, has discovered a free-flight Avro Arrow model on the floor of Lake Ontario.
The sonar images were captured using Kraken’s AquaPix® Synthetic Aperture Sonar deployed onboard Kraken’s ThunderFish® Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). OEX Recovery Group, the organizers of the program, are unveiling the images to media and project supporters in Toronto today. The sonar and underwater camera images showcase a free-flight Avro Arrow model that was launched over Lake Ontario in the 1950s as part of the Avro Arrow design test program.
David Shea, Kraken’s VP of Engineering said, “It has been a very exciting few weeks. After a short break to conduct vehicle maintenance and refresh our team, last week we headed back out onto the lake. The plan was to follow the trajectory of our recently discovered Nike booster rockets and we prioritized our search grid to focus along the same trajectory. The group decided to conduct a search immediately beyond the location of our previous booster rocket. We had a very productive survey day and were rewarded with a fantastic discovery — an Avro Arrow model and two more Nike boosters.”
Shea continued, “As all of our sonar processing operates onboard the AUV in real-time, this significantly reduced our overall processing timeline, a critical factor during the search. We could access and view the sonar images immediately after we downloaded the data. The extremely high resolution of our AquaPix® sonar made target identification very easy — this was clearly a delta-wing shaped model.”
“It was previously confirmed from historical footage that each model was launched with a Nike booster rocket, and although the models did decouple from the rockets for free flight, following the ‘trail’ of booster rockets led us in the right direction. This discovery clearly validates the group’s search strategy and demonstrates the value of Kraken’s ThunderFish® AUV and AquaPix® sonar technology.”
“We are very pleased and tremendously proud to announce we have discovered the first example of one of the free-flight Arrow models,” said John Burzynski, Raise the Arrow expedition leader and CEO of Osisko Mining. “We hope to have other discoveries as we continue the program and are now working on planning a recovery of this first Arrow model. The Arrow is an important — and passionate — part of Canada’s aviation and technological history as a reminder of what Canadians can achieve. We are honoured to be part of this discovery, and would like to thank our sponsors, project participants and supporters for their efforts in making it possible.”
Karl Kenny, Kraken’s President and CEO, said, “We are thrilled and honoured that our technology, products and people played a key role in the discovery of an Avro Arrow free flight model. Our advanced Canadian ocean technology plays a big part in this story, as our underwater sensors and robotics helped find a piece of Canada’s aviation history. Continuing in the tradition of the Arrow, the entire Kraken team is proud to engineer and deliver world-class marine technology.”
Any of the free-flight test models that are eventually recovered will be housed at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa and the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario.
ABOUT THE AVRO ARROW FREE FLIGHT MODELS
When the Avro Arrow program was cancelled in 1959, all materials related to the project were ordered destroyed. The only known artifacts from the program remaining to be found are the free flight models.
The free flight models were launched over Lake Ontario in a series of flight tests conducted in the 1950s as engineers developed the revolutionary Arrow, which featured a radical delta wing and a Canadian-made jet engine that pushed it past the speed of sound. The free flight models were used in a series of aerodynamic experiments that helped fine-tune the aircraft’s flight quality.
The free flight models were attached to high-powered booster rockets and launched out over Lake Ontario from a military test site east of Toronto. After separating from the booster rockets, the models flew at supersonic speeds. Their onboard sensors, revolutionary for the 1950s, transmitted flight data back to engineers on the ground. At the end of each flight the models lost velocity, crashed into the water and sank. For over sixty years the models have rested on the bottom of the lake.
In the past, privately funded missions have attempted to locate and recover the lost models, but all have failed due inadequate funding, water depths, search area size and the amount of metal debris on the bottom — according to military records, more than 600 missiles were launched from the same site.
ABOUT AQUAPIX® SYNTHETIC APERTURE SONAR
AquaPix® is an industry leading Synthetic Aperture Sonar system providing military grade technology that enables superior 3D seabed imaging, faster data processing and a lower cost than competing sonars. Conventional side scan systems are limited in that they only provide high resolution imagery at short ranges. AquaPix® produces ultra high-resolution seabed imagery at very long ranges. The additional information provided by AquaPix® delivers detection and identification capabilities that cannot be achieved with conventional sidescan sonar. Higher resolution allows AquaPix® to provide useable area coverage rates up to 10 times better that of conventional sidescan, which reduces mission time and provides faster actionable intelligence.
AquaPix® also generates highly accurate 3D bathymetry data that is registered and geo-referenced to the same pixel grid co-ordinates as the imagery. The capability of generating centimetre-scale resolution in all three spatial domains also provides significant performance improvements in the detection, classification and identification of seabed objects.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles such as Kraken’s ThunderFish® are ideal sonar platforms and provide extremely stable platform for acoustic and laser imaging in a variety of water depths. Equipped with next-generation sensors such as Kraken’s AquaPix®, AUVs are ideal for a wide variety of underwater defence, commercial and ocean science applications.
Kraken Sonar Inc. (TSX VENTURE: PNG) (OTCQB: KRKNF) is a marine technology company, founded in 2012, that is dedicated to the production and sale of software-centric sensors and underwater robotic systems. The company is headquartered in St. John’s, Newfoundland with offices in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Bremen, Germany; and Fairfax, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.krakensonar.com, www.krakenrobotik.de, www.krakenpower.de.
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