The BioSonics UnderWater Acoustic Sentinel (UWACS), a Low Cost Underwater Threat Detection System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 - 12/31/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Biosonics, Inc.
4027 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


The purpose of this project is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a concept design for a low cost underwater threat detection system to protect critical shoreline and waterside infrastructure. For 26 years, BioSonics has designed and manufactured state-of-the-art digital scientific echosounder technologies for real-time detection, tracking, and classification of biological targets in hostile, cluttered and boundary environments. BioSonics has demonstrated that our low cost, portable COTS echosounder system is well-suited for the unique challenges of threat detection, classification, and early warning in the land-water interface. In Phase I, BioSonics will evaluate, improve and demonstrate COTS hardware, software and positioning system components for effectiveness in threat detection. Proven detection capabilities will be adapted to larger targets such as divers and submersibles in a variety of environments to establish range and boundary performance and to test classification and alarm algorithms. The BioSonics solution utilizes an active hydroacoustic system consisting of a networked series of focused beam transducers with ultra low side lobes, mounted on robust, dual-axis rotators, capable of sufficient detection range, high detection probability and low false alarm rates. The commercialization potential of this low cost, effective product for homeland security, defense, public and private sector markets is tremendous.