Improved Pinger & Pinger Locator System - PEO(CU) & NAVSEA Endorsement

Period of Performance: 01/01/1995 - 10/31/1996

$685K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Undersea Systems Technology Corp.
5793 WIDEWATERS PKWY
Dewitt, NY 13214
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

International Distress Pingers and acoustic beacons are installed in flight data recorders and high value test equipment to permit recovery if lost in deep ocean water. These pingers operate at frequencies where significant attenuation takes place as a result of the absorption of acoustic energy by seawater, thus limiting detection range. Phase Iof this effort investigated extending this detection range from two aspects: (1) identifying and testing the design characteristics of an improved locator system, and (2) identifying the characteristics of an improved pinger beacon. The design goal was to realize 20 to 30 dB of gain. The resulting Improved Pinger Locator System, proposed for Phase II implementation, achieves its gain by increased hydrophone directivity and improved signal processing. It also includes an automatic detection process and a user-friendly machine interface which will considerably enhance the performance and operability of the locating system. In-water testing during Phase I highlighted several ways in which an improved acoustic beacon could contribute some dBs to the detection process. Pinger redesign to incorporate these improvements is included as part of the Phase II effort.