An Air Deployed Multi-cycle Ocean Profiler for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Period of Performance: 11/20/2000 - 09/10/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Webb Research Corp.
82 Technology Park Drive
East Falmouth, MA 02536
Principal Investigator


A new tool for Navy intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance is proposed. A profiler, in an A size sonobuoy configuration, able to make 100 plus profiles with an endurance of 60 days, capable of supporting a wide-range of physical and acousticsensors, GPS positioning, line-of-sight, or global satellite communications and underwater coustic modems. The profiler proposed is a logical extrapolation of the ALACEcivil research profiler. The development is of low to moderate risk and has a richfield of future development, particularly in adapting the variable buoyancy to creategliding vehicles capable of controlled vertical and horizontal movement. The Phase 1component proposed is to construct three prototypes and demonstrate them in the field. The prototypes will be of A size Sonobuoy physical envelope, for hand development with the data collected, processed, and distributed by Internet. The technicalbackground is outlined, including examples of field observations.The proposed profilers are expected to be a useful addition to the Navy tacticaltoolbox, useful in ocean data assimilation and environmental assessment as well as civil applicaitons. The air-deployed profilers may have a role in short-lived marineevents, oil spills, rescues, major underwater seismic events, etc. A group of profilers can be air deployed quickly, programmed to sit on the bottom and ascentsequentially acting as surface drifters as well as profilers.There may be a role in ocean and climate research for a long-life version with accurate sensors for air deployment in remote areas, or from deployment from ships ofopportunity to complement the worldwide deployment of 3000 civil research profilersplanned in the international ARGO experiment.