Low Cost Hydrophones for Thin Line Towed Arrays
Navy SBIR 2011.1 - Topic N111-055
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam - email@example.com
Opens: December 13, 2010 - Closes: January 12, 2011
N111-055 TITLE: Low Cost Hydrophones for Thin Line Towed Arrays
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors
ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Support TB-23 and the TB-29A Thin Line Towed Array systems
RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted." The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.
OBJECTIVE: Develop a reduced cost hydrophone that meets all of the performance requirements of current thin line towed array hydrophones.
DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Navy is interested in reducing the cost of thin line towed arrays. One major towed array cost driver is the cost of the hydrophones which equates to approximately 15-20% of the total thin line towed system cost. Reduced cost hydrophones will enable the use of more hydrophone elements per group which will lead to reduced towed array self-noise via improved spatial filtering.
Currently, hydrophones suitable for use in a thin line towed array cost ~$52/hydrophone when purchased in quantities of roughly 1,000 units. Current thin line towed arrays use approximately 5000 hydrophones in each array. In order for the Navy to transition low cost hydrophone technology to production arrays, groups of 12 hydrophone elements, when connected in a series/parallel combination of the offer’s choice, must meet following characteristics: (1) sensitivity of -192 +/- 1.0 dB re 1 V/uPa, (2) sensitivity variation no greater than +/- 0.5 dB over temperature range of -2 to +50° C and pressure range of 0 to 1000 psig, (3) capacitance greater than 500 pF, (4) dissipation factor less than 0.18, (5) resonant frequency greater than 5 kHz, (6) insulation resistance greater than 1 gigaOhm, (7) survival pressure of at least 1500 psig, (8) diameter less than 0.37 inch, and (9) rigid length less than 2 inches. Weight should be minimized within the constraint of meeting all other requirements.
The Navy seeks innovative hydrophone technologies that will provide hydrophones that meet the stated requirements for groups that contain more than 12 hydrophone elements.
PHASE I: The Phase 1 deliverable of this SBIR is a report that describes the hydrophone concept and how the concept will meet stated performance specifications and cost goal. Additionally, a simple proof of concept prototype hydrophone is highly desirable.
PHASE II: The Phase 2 deliverable of this SBIR is prototype hydrophones suitable for in-water performance evaluation.
PHASE III: The focus of the Phase 3 effort will be the transition of the prototype hydrophones to advanced development model quantities suitable for integration into group assemblies and subsequent tow testing.
PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: A low cost hydrophone with the performance characteristics noted in this SBIR topic would have applications in seismic streamers as well as military towed arrays for other platforms such as unmanned underwater and unmanned surface vehicles.
2. Leblanc, C. L. "Handbook of Hydrophone Element Design Technology" NUSC TD 5831, Oct 1978
3. Sherman, C. H. and Butler, J. L. "Transducers and Arrays for Underwater Sound", Springer, 2007
KEYWORDS: hydrophone, towed array, acoustic sensor, thin line