Compact Towed Sonar Array
Navy SBIR FY2005.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2005.2
Topic No.: N05-125
Topic Title: Compact Towed Sonar Array
Proposal No.: N052-125-0073
Firm: Chesapeake Sciences Corporation
1127B Benfield Blvd.
Millersville, Maryland 21108-2540
Contact: David Kimball
Phone: (410) 923-1300
Web Site:
Abstract: A major challenge facing the U.S. Navy's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission area is the ability to effectively detect, classify, localize and neutralize quiet modern submarines in shallow water. To address this challenge requires deployment of distributed network centric sensor systems that provide the search rate needed to leverage the full complement of US Navy war fighting capability. Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) outfitted with compact towed array sensors have the potential to deliver the transformational capability needed to meet operational objectives in the littorals. Current towed array sensors, including TB-23, TB-29A, TB-16 and MFTA, provide desired acoustic performance but are not optimal for deployment from an unmanned vehicle. Compatibility with these platforms requires significant reductions in sensor power, diameter, bend radius and production cost. Maintaining performance comparable to existing Navy tactical towed arrays requires reduced susceptibility to mechanical/vibrational noise and incorporation of directional sensors for left-right contact resolution. Development of next generation reliable compact towed arrays that can be stowed and deployed from unmanned vehicles, surface ships and submarines supports the Sea Shield Pillar of Sea Power 21 while achieving substantial fleet life cycle cost savings.
Benefits: Successful implementation of the Compact Towed Array SBIR provides the Navy with major technological advancements in towed array capabilities. Our approach proposes to develop a common ultra-thinline towed array for use across a broad range of unmanned platforms (USV/UUV/UUG). The use of directional vector sensors provides significant performance advantages including instantaneous left/right ambiguity resolution, ability to null own ship noise, immunity to multi-path signal fading, and improved sensor DI which allows for shorter arrays with equivalent performance to longer arrays.