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JW Fishers - News - November 28, 2005


JW Fishers Mfg., specialists in the design and manufacture of underwater search equipment for over 30 years, have added the SCAN-650 scanning sonar system to their product line. This unique device can serve a variety of search operations, from ROV surveys to assisting in the location of drowning victims. The system consists of a 650K transducer, a “downstairs” electronics unit, a cable connecting to the surface processor, and software to display the sonar image on the PC. The narrow beam angle beam angle of the transducer produces extremely sharp, high resolution images of objects in the water column or on the bottom. It can also search large areas quickly because the sonar beam scans up to 360 degrees around the sonar head, extending out 40 meters in every direction.

Scanning sonar is an ideal tool for underwater search because it creates “a picture” of the underwater environment regardless of visibility or how dark the water. Scanning sonar does this by sending out a sound wave that reflects off objects in the water column or on the bottom. Once the sound wave strikes an object, it reflects, and returns to the sonar head where it is received and sent to the surface for display. The sonar head or transducer sweeps over an area much like radar. The area to be searched, or the sweep angle, is controlled by the operator and can be up to 360 degrees. When a scanning sonar is mounted on an ROV it can either be set to scan a complete circle around the vehicle, or a small angle directly in front for object identification and ranging. Another use for scanning sonar is assisting law enforcement agencies and dive rescue teams in the recovery of drowning victims. The Scan-650 can be lowered over the side of a boat to search an area hundreds of feet in diameter, quickly and easily. The scanning sonar can also be instumental in a search for victims or equipment that have fallen through ice on a frozen lake or river. Within seconds from lowering the transducer through the ice hole, a high resolution image is produced of everything on the bottom up to 40 meters from the sonar head. Using scanning sonar can elimate the need to deploy divers into dangerous or overhead environments.

Fishers Scan-650 displays the underwater image on any desktop or notebook PC. GPS position, time, date and other important information are captured and stored with the sonar data. The stored files can be replayed at any time, and a variety of post-processing functions allow the sonar data to enhanced and manipulated. A sizing tool is included in the software that allows the operator to determince the size of any target. The system package includes sonar head with “downstairs” electronics, cable, surface sonar processor, software, and an A/D board for your computer. For a limited time the SCAN-650 is being offered at an introductory price of $6,495.

To receive a data sheet on JW Fishers Scan-650 or a brochure on their complete line of underwater search equipment, call (800) 822-4744, send e-mail to, or visit their website



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