Environmental Characterization using Tactical Sensors

Period of Performance: 06/10/2003 - 12/10/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Signal Systems Corporation
1127-B Benfield Blvd Array
Millersville, MD 21108
Principal Investigator


Environmental information is critical to successful littoral Air ASW multistatic search operations. Environmental information is used to optimize buoy field spacing, frequency band selection, and classifier parameters in systems such as Improved Extended Echo Ranging (IEER) and Distant Thunder. In littoral ASW, tactically important environmental parameters are local, time-varying and require `in-situ' measurements. Signal Systems Corporations, with its teammate The University of Washington - Applied Physics Laboratory, will examine alternatives to developing a new tactical acoustic measurement buoy. We will focus on using existing fleet assets with small modifications to buoys and aircraft. Our concepts come from developments in the Beartrap Environmental Characterization, and Non-Traditional Acoustic Processing programs. Environmental Characterization using Tactical Sensors (ECTS) can utilize a ping-while-drop deployment to obtain environmental information during the search operation itself. Because of the difficulties in saturation effects, we will examine the use of extended dynamic range buoys to provide bottom parameter extraction results, and to estimate ambient noise levels. Existing sonobuoys would be used for sound speed profile estimation. In Phase I, we will examine bottom parameter and ambient noise estimation using extended dynamic range ADAR sonobuoys. We will also develop a concept of operations that merges tactical search and ECTS. If this innovative approach shows feasibility, the resulting ECTS capability offers lower cost and reduced logistics demands for in-situ enviornmental characterization. Reduced time to an operational capability is also anticipated.