NOAA Awards FarSounder SBIR Grant

NOAA Awards FarSounder SBIR Grant

FarSounder has been awarded a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant.

This award provides FarSounder funding for the research and development of a project entitled: Enabling Expanded Crowdsourced Bathymetry Contributions with High-Quality Metadata via Commercially Sustainable Incentives to Contributors.

This project will develop a cloud-based service to share survey data collected by FarSounder customers. The data will be able to be shared with others across the FarSounder customer fleet and with crowdsourcing initiatives like Seabed 2030 via the IHO’s Data Centre for Digital 2 NOAABathymetry’s CSB database.

To date, less than 25% of the world’s seafloor has been mapped. In many places, the bathymetry of the seafloor can change dramatically over time due to seasonal and storm-related conditions. In addition to its real-time, forward-looking capabilities, FarSounder’s Argos sonars can produce a bathymetric survey of everywhere the vessel goes. This survey data includes high-quality metadata with accurate vessel, sensor, and GPS details. The obvious next step is to get these detailed surveys off the vessels and into the cloud for broader use.

This project fits well into NOAA’s missions to share knowledge and information with others and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. “FarSounder’s proposed technology for expanding bathymetry data tools aligns with NOAA’s goals of improving maritime navigational safety and enhancing our overall understanding of the ocean,” said Dr. Genevieve Lind, NOAA SBIR Program Manager. “We look forward to seeing the impacts that this innovative project will bring.”

According to CEO Matthew Zimmerman, “FarSounder customers have been submitting data to the IHO’s Data Center for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB) for some time. This project will not only make these efforts easier for all involved parties, but it will also open the opportunity to share and use this crowdsourced data to countless others.”


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