One of the few exhibitors at the Leica HDS User Conference was a new company BlueView Technologies. Based in Seattle, Washington the company is the leading provider of miniature multibeam imaging sonar.
At the conference they were demonstrating their 3D mechanical scanning sonar systems. These can be deployed using a tripod or remote underwater vehicle and in principle operate like a laser scanner except that they use sonar to determine the range to the object.
The reason that they were invited to the Leica HDS UC was the fact that the point cloud data can be imported into Cyclone for registration and modeling.
Some of the advantages of this system are that it can be used in low visibility conditions, it does not require positioning or orientation and unlike most sonar systems it does not require the “dragging” of the sensor.