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Aero India 2023: DRDO unveils CHITR-M1 acoustic imaging sonar

The CHITRA-M1 is the DRDO's first high-frequency sonar prototype. (Janes/Anish Markose)

The Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) has displayed its Compact High Frequency Imaging Technology - Mark 1 (CHITR-M1) sonar system at the Aero India 2023 show in Bangalore, which runs from 13 to 17 February.

According to DRDO officials, the CHITR-M1 is the DRDO's first high-frequency sonar prototype. Development of this system took four years.

CHITR-M1 has a high-centre frequency of 700 kHz and bandwidth of 100 kHz to allow for high-quality imaging. It has a depth rating of 100–300 m.

The system has an axial resolution of 1°, which helps identify distance between objects. The system has a detection range of up to 120 m and consumes just 120 W of power, making it highly efficient. Its update rate is 1 Hz, which ensures fast and real-time imaging.

The CHITR-M1 is also lightweight, with a dry weight of 28 kg and wet weight of just 8 kg, and has a small form factor of 30×30×25 cm. It is rated for depths of 100 to 300 m.

The CHITR-M1 has Ethernet connectivity to establish data and communication links with host computers. Military applications of the CHITR-M1 sonar include autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) navigation, marine detection, ship hull inspection, and harbour security.

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