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Geoacoustic Sea Bottom Characterization Using Passive, Cost-Effective Sensors

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Progeny Systems Corporation
9500 Innovation Drive Manassas, VA 20110-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2007
Title: Geoacoustic Sea Bottom Characterization Using Passive, Cost-Effective Sensors
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N00039-08-C-0066
Award Amount: $68,325.00


The Navy can gain a significant operational advantage by knowing the ocean's seabed properties. It is well known that the seabed type can have an enormous impact on sound propagation and therefore effects detection and classification of underwater targets. Seabed properties often are the unknown wild-card in predicting how ASW and MIW sonar systems will perform. Estimating the seabed properties around the world has proven to be an extremely difficult task with today's technology. In this proposal, a novel method is presented for passively estimating seabed properties with a cost-effective, autonomous sensor. This new approach can provide a way to vastly increase the coverage of seabed maps at a small fraction of the expense using current technology. Rather than using a sound projector (which typically requires a research or T-AGS ship), we exploit the ambient noise that occurs naturally from wind and breaking waves on the sea-surface. This greatly simplifies the measurements and allows for the development of an autonomous sensor from a buoy or autonomous vehicle (i.e., glider or UUV) for seabed geoacoustic characterization. Although using ambient noise for such an important characterization may seem a bit far-fetched the results are surprisingly good.

Principal Investigator:

John Thornton
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Christine Sigety
Business Manager
Small Business Information at Submission:

9500 Innovation Drive Manassas, VA 20110

EIN/Tax ID: 541766108
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No