“Mapping of the nearshore and surf zone environments is vital for marine safety, security, and environmental/archeological protection. The conventional method of surveying in shallow water with manned survey vessels is challenging and often hazardous because the risk of running aground is high.
Utilizing unmanned vehicles such as Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) significantly reduces the risks while increasing operational efficiency. Man-portable AUVs are quickly becoming recognized as ideal shallow water survey platforms due to their ease of handling and rapid deployment. Operators can deploy several unmanned AUVs at once, which decreases both the deployment and survey time. For shallow water operations, the ideal imaging sonar must fit on a small AUV while providing the sophisticated technology needed to operate in the shallow water environment.”