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Forward Scan Sonar for ships

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Forward Scan Sonar mod

zZSnW7y.png

 


 

Description


This mod adds a sonar to the game which you can use from any ship. This can be useful if you have ever unintentionally grounded your ship or crashed into underwater objects. Also it can be used for searching for objects at the sea floor.
 

Modes of operation


Sector Imaging Mode - scans a 180 degrees sector with a very narrow vertical beam. Signal strength is mapped to display intensity, displayed range is not corrected (slant range). This is best suited for searching for objects on the sea floor and for making images.

Sector Depth Mode - scans a 180 degrees sector with a wider vertical beam. Depth of each point is mapped to display color, displayed range is projected. This mode is more useful for navigation in shallow areas.

Basic Forward Scan Mode - scans area directly ahead of your vessel with a vertical beam. Position of each point is displayed on distance-depth graph, giving you precise information of depth right ahead of your vessel. Although you can see only a small area of the sea floor, this mode has the fastest refresh rate.
 

NOTE:

* Wherever the depth is displayed in the device, it is not the true depth, but depth below sensor position which is located at the bottom of your vessel.
* Sector scanning modes might degrade your frame rate. If you are having bad performance, reduce the scan rate.
 

How to enable

When you are in a ship, use the "Sonar Options" action in the action menu.
 

Options


Mode - sets the mode of sonar.
Range - sets the maximum range of the sonar.
Max Depth - sets the depth limit for the display. Only affects basic forward scan and sector depth modes.
Image Gamma - Allows you to adjust gamma correction of the image. Only affects sector imaging mode.
Scan Rate - Allows you to adjust the scanning rate of the sonar. Only affects sector imaging and sector depth modes.



Download from Steam Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2281685552
GitHub link: https://github.com/Sparker95/Arma-3-Ship-Sonar

More description

Sometimes I like to do boating in Arma. And every time I do so, I can't stop thinking that the game doesn't have any proper equipment to operate boats. In real life most boats at least have a simple depth pinger. Nowadays there are even cooler devices, such as forward scan sonars, which don't look directly under the vessel, but also ahead of it. More expensive models can perform a good 3D scan of whole area ahead of ship.

I also happen to be a sonar developer in real life, so I just couldn't not build one it in the game 😛.

The mod works by using ray casts to simulate operation of a real sonar. Because of that you can not 'see' what is lying behind tall objects on the sea floor. Also you are going to see 'shadows' of objects which are on the sea floor or suspended above it (like submarines).

To-do list
- Figure out a better place for the panel so it doesn't obstruct anything
- Try to make a 3D scan sonar  done


Comparable real life devices
Basic forward scan sonars:
Simrad Forward Scan:
https://youtu.be/O6B-OvjQIQ8
Echopilot FLS 2D: https://echopilot.com/products/fls-2d/

Navigational 3D forward scan sonar:

Farsounder Argos series: http://www.farsounder.com/products/argos-350

Imaging sonar:
Teledyne SEABAT 7123: http://www.teledynemarine.com/SeaBat-7123-MkII

 

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Damm what a such addon. I was figuring out how I could add this feature like the mini-map mine radar but for a ground penetration radar for a Husky 2G (video) but I simply skipped it, It was a lot for me.

Good job.

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That's really amazing quality of life improvement, it really should be in the base game!

1 hour ago, Sparker said:

- Figure out a better place for the panel so it doesn't obstruct anything

Maybe there's possibility to have panel appear in those "detachable" windows under square bracket keys? Ones that show cameras and GPS in vehicles.

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9 minutes ago, krzychuzokecia said:

That's really amazing quality of life improvement, it really should be in the base game!

Maybe there's possibility to have panel appear in those "detachable" windows under square bracket keys? Ones that show cameras and GPS in vehicles.

Thanks! That was my initial plan, but from posts in the thread dedicated to those panels I found out that the system doesn't allow us to make a custom scripted panel. Which is very dissappointing.
Related discussion: https://forums.bohemia.net/forums/topic/200468-jets-custom-panels-gps-camera-feeds/?page=8&tab=comments#comment-3338304

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This is awesome!

 

Now all we need is a motion scanner like X-COM or the aliens movies for the ultimate fear missions!

 

Well done Sparker, always putting that creative brain of yours to good use!

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Thanks!

It didn't take me long to sweep the sonar beam to make it a nice circular scan sonar:

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R3tehwR.jpg

Just ignore the numbers and ship indicator at the graph plot, I reused the old one for a quick test.

Now I just need to figure out how to make such a scanner not explode our frame rate.

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I was working on a similar submarine sonar project early this year myself. Yours turned out good. Great job man! Very cool.

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Thanks! What was the problem with your sonar actually, why didn't you finish it? Can I find it somewhere?

The problem with my current setup is that it can't detect objects smaller than beam width. For that I would need to search for all objects within range and add fake points to the graph at the top of the current graph. But this setup is cool for getting nice images and for aid with navigation.

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I am not an expert in such kinds of sonars, but I think that today such a submarine would be most likely detected far beyond Altis map 🙂 .
What we could instead do is hunt these small SDVs at close range, this could also be a good scenario for players.

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very nice !

i will try to scan naval mines with it, though i hopped for something like this for some helicopters :)) 

however, the marker is little bit thicker than RL i think, but really good mod though prety solid one ^ ^

 

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Hmm, which marker do you mean? Do you mean the 'pixels' from echo responses? They are so big because there are only around 100 of them on the screen, since I can't add more without more serious performance impact. So there are a few of them, but they are bigger.

This thing isn't really meant for mine search because of its limited range. It's more of a navigational aid for ship captains 🙂 .

How would you expect a helicopter sonar to work? By deploying it into the water from a cable? I'm not really familiar with these, but I guess it would be an interesting addition to the game too.

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Quote

Hmm, which marker do you mean? Do you mean the 'pixels' from echo responses? They are so big because there are only around 100 of them on the screen, since I can't add more without more serious performance impact. So there are a few of them, but they are bigger.

well that make sense than 

Quote

This thing isn't really meant for mine search because of its limited range. It's more of a navigational aid for ship captains

hmmm... or fishing some tuna 😂
even though i found it good on small boats for mine detection at least for the moored naval mines

Quote

How would you expect a helicopter sonar to work? By deploying it into the water from a cable? I'm not really familiar with these, but I guess it would be an interesting addition to the game too.

yeah or by dropping Sonobuoys :))

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Such a wonderfull mod! So much new options with this in spec operations. Thank you sir

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Hi guys, I've made a big update to the mod, which adds two more sonar modes: first mode is for imaging and search, second mode is for navigation.
You can preview how it works in the video:



And here are some cool screenshots of scans I've performed:
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DuixQN2.jpg

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Man, this is so cool! Love the way, sonar works. As AirShark said, I'd also be happy to see similar sonar working for helos, whether as a towed sonar or droped sonobuoys. Also, I'm wondering if that solution could work for aircraft WX radar (detecting clouds, raining and storms) and for air radar in ground mode (terrain scan, moving objects detection). Great addon, its interface/display is very appealing to me, thanks 🙂   

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4 hours ago, NightIntruder said:

Man, this is so cool! Love the way, sonar works. As AirShark said, I'd also be happy to see similar sonar working for helos, whether as a towed sonar or droped sonobuoys. Also, I'm wondering if that solution could work for aircraft WX radar (detecting clouds, raining and storms) and for air radar in ground mode (terrain scan, moving objects detection). Great addon, its interface/display is very appealing to me, thanks 🙂   

Thanks! I think there is no way to detect clouds in the game unfortunately. The ground scanning radar can be done, but it will be limited to 5km distance, since it is the hardcoded maximum distance for line intersection check in the game. But first I need to research more on such radars and their performance.

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1 hour ago, Sparker said:

The ground scanning radar can be done, but it will be limited to 5km distance


Surely, that'd be enough for the typical size of terrains in the game. Thanks for willingness to try that for us. That'd be a nice feature of E-2C or attack planes, I suppose.
And since we're talking about Hawkeye - would the air-to-air radar done this way cost the same performance wise?  Specifically, I mean the radar shadow (hills, huge buildings) affecting the outcome.

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Wow, thanks for releasing such a cool mod. The 2d sonar versoin was already an asome and realistic addition for boats/ships in arma 3, but the 3d-sonar even with diffent modes is completly mind-blowing. Finally someone who adds realistic sensors / instruments. Better than BIs stuff. Like NightIntruder said, a radar based on this script could be a future expansion of this mod. Maybe you could add a air radar and ground navigation radar for ships (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_radar#/media/File:Radar_screen.JPG) to this mod. A realistic radar with different frequency modes etc. would add lots of realisim to arma 3. The "standart BI" radar in arma 3 isnt really usefull, because it only detecs other vehicles and no map objects. Im not a expert for radars etc., but there is a good webside, wich explaines basic funtions of radars (link https://www.radartutorial.eu/01.basics/!rb02.en.html)

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10 hours ago, NightIntruder said:


Surely, that'd be enough for the typical size of terrains in the game. Thanks for willingness to try that for us. That'd be a nice feature of E-2C or attack planes, I suppose.
And since we're talking about Hawkeye - would the air-to-air radar done this way cost the same performance wise?  Specifically, I mean the radar shadow (hills, huge buildings) affecting the outcome.

Yes, performance impact is approximately same as with the sonar, I think. Longer ray casts cost more but not very much. I've tested it out with a helicopter and here are the results:
Images below are not meant to represent any real life radar, these are made just for fun
687105EC1200A74C6B2B9144290A728EF2B9C387
98F4A2E9FD501839657CA63B790AAEB24A7D9EEA
3D97E485FB425B42CE1925B6808C54B8BA6D4F0E

That's a pretty fun result. It has images quite similar to Synthesided Aperture Radar (SAR) images, you can search them up in the internet. But they are also very poor in quality, and I doubt that anyone will want to use them. Applications for that are quite limited, since you can get much more data just by your own sight. Also I don't know about any real life radars which have imaging purpose - apart from SAR radar, but that one must be mounted on a platform moving very fast, like an airplane or a satellite, and it scans sideways. Anyway I'd like to hear more information on radar imaging technologies and how we could use that in the game.

 

 

10 hours ago, Omsi_Player_123 said:

Wow, thanks for releasing such a cool mod. The 2d sonar versoin was already an asome and realistic addition for boats/ships in arma 3, but the 3d-sonar even with diffent modes is completly mind-blowing. Finally someone who adds realistic sensors / instruments. Better than BIs stuff. Like NightIntruder said, a radar based on this script could be a future expansion of this mod. Maybe you could add a air radar and ground navigation radar for ships (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_radar#/media/File:Radar_screen.JPG) to this mod. A realistic radar with different frequency modes etc. would add lots of realisim to arma 3. The "standart BI" radar in arma 3 isnt really usefull, because it only detecs other vehicles and no map objects. Im not a expert for radars etc., but there is a good webside, wich explaines basic funtions of radars (link https://www.radartutorial.eu/01.basics/!rb02.en.html)

Thanks! A ship radar could indeed be quite easy to do, since it doesn't require a very wide beam, we are scanning only the area close to horizon. But I don't think it would be very useful, unfortunately - we are not doing a lot of navigation between iceberg fields or things like that in the game.
The standard radar isn't meant for revealing us terrain features, but instead to hide them. Real life radars are built to filter out terrain clutter and only present resolved targets to the pilot, so I'd say that the standard radar in the game does exactly that. As I know, typically terrain signal is rejected by doppler shift. But I'm not an expert in radars too, this topic is very deep.

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44 minutes ago, Sparker said:

That's a pretty fun result. It has images quite similar to Synthesided Aperture Radar (SAR) images, you can search them up in the internet. But they are also very poor in quality, and I doubt that anyone will want to use them. Applications for that are quite limited, since you can get much more data just by your own sight.


The outcome looks very promising. What was the angle of the sensor in relation to the ground?
Yeah, indeed it looks similar to SAR. I suppose that such radar scan of terrain could be useful for navigation in adverse weather conditions - fog, limited visibility, smoke, heavy rain, flying in clouds. Even during nighttime could be used as well, since effectivness of NVGs is decreasing with a distance. Anyway, ground scanning is just one of multiple modes airborne radars are designed to work in. But, when it comes to other modes, such as A2A or A2G (to include GMTI),  it seems that one-degree resolution of scan might simply be not sufficient creating a huge gap between "rays" at the distance of 5km. Some other mechanism would have to be choosen to feed the radar with data, I guess. But, this is something already covered by BI's sensors, as you mentioned. The only thing they are lacked is possibility to project the display on a mesh of an addon (MFD, screen, etc).  I wonder, if it could be possible with your solution?  

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2 hours ago, NightIntruder said:


The outcome looks very promising. What was the angle of the sensor in relation to the ground?
Yeah, indeed it looks similar to SAR. I suppose that such radar scan of terrain could be useful for navigation in adverse weather conditions - fog, limited visibility, smoke, heavy rain, flying in clouds. Even during nighttime could be used as well, since effectivness of NVGs is decreasing with a distance. Anyway, ground scanning is just one of multiple modes airborne radars are designed to work in. But, when it comes to other modes, such as A2A or A2G (to include GMTI),  it seems that one-degree resolution of scan might simply be not sufficient creating a huge gap between "rays" at the distance of 5km. Some other mechanism would have to be choosen to feed the radar with data, I guess. But, this is something already covered by BI's sensors, as you mentioned. The only thing they are lacked is possibility to project the display on a mesh of an addon (MFD, screen, etc).  I wonder, if it could be possible with your solution?  

The sensor was looking straight horisontal in all tests. You can see where the helicopter was hanging, the sensor was right at its bottom.
I don't know how to configure a display in the cockpit to render custom data. In my addon I just use standard control types (picture, text, etc) - if the game can render that on an MFD then we can render my addon onto it too.

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12 hours ago, Sparker said:

 But they are also very poor in quality, and I doubt that anyone will want to use them. 

not really, with the Ace night vision i cant see anything with them inside aircrafts as they have limited distance and harder to see the ground with them from high altitude, so these during night time in game will be significantly helpful for gameplay purposes at least to detect moving targets ^ ^

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