Interdisciplinary methodology to extend technology readiness levels in SONAR simulation from laboratory validation to hydrography demonstrator

James Riordan, Francis Flannery, Daniel Toal, Matija Rossi, Gerard Dooly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


This paper extends underwater SONAR simulation from laboratory prototype to real-world demonstrator. It presents the interdisciplinary methodology to advance the state of the art from level four to level seven on the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) standard scale for measuring the maturity of innovations. While SONAR simulation offers the potential to unlock cost-effective personnel capacity building in Hydrography, demonstration of virtualised survey-scale operations is a prerequisite for validation by practitioners. Our research approach uses the TRL framework to identify and map current barriers to the use of simulation to interdisciplinary solutions adapted from multiple domains. To meet the distinct challenges of acceptance tests at each level in the TRL scale, critical knowledge is incorporated from different branches of science, engineering, project management, and pedagogy. The paper reports the simulator development at each escalation of TRL. The contributions to simulator performance and usability at each level of advancement are presented, culminating in the first case study demonstration of SONAR simulation as a real-world hydrographic training platform.
Original languageEnglish
Article number159
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2019



  • sonar
  • acoustics
  • modelling
  • simulation
  • real time
  • robotics
  • marine
  • underwater
  • interdisciplinary
  • pedagogy
  • hydrography
  • level of detail
  • fractals
  • multibeam
  • sidescan

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