Compact Control Module for Short Towed Arrays

Period of Performance: 10/18/2010 - 08/17/2011


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lbi, Inc.
Groton, CT 06340
Principal Investigator


A Towed Array Control Module (TACM) will be developed to control the configuration of single and multi-line towed arrays by applying the appropriate force vector at the tail end, while reducing drag. The TACM is a streamlined module with some maneuvering ability of its own that can adjust the array s shape so it remains effective during towing vehicle maneuvers and current shears, as knowing the shape of the array is critical to interpreting its results. The TACM uses buoyancy and hydrodynamic lift, steering and drag forces to position itself and produce the proper tension in the array. Innovative features are an active control system to keep the array in the optimum shape, and position and tension sensors to provide feedback to the control system. An Array Configuration Algorithm will provide the estimated shape of the array to the control system on the towing vehicle to ensure optimum shape of the array. Multi-line arrays (MLTA) can be towed from the same vehicle, as judicious use of the TACMs will enhance performance, facilitate deployment and reduce entanglement. Array gain will be the primary measure used to evaluate the effectiveness of the array configurations that can be achieved using the TACM.