Engineering Sensors for Towed Array Reliability
The most significant challenge facing the Navy Anti-Submarine Warfare community today is Towed Array System availability. Submarine thin-line Towed Arrays in particular are subjected to extreme forces during deployment and retrieval in addition to tactical operations. In the past it has been especially difficult to monitor and characterize the stress imparted on the array during the deployment and retrieval. It is evident that the towed array reliability demands an objective systems engineering approach that monitors towed array health during all modes of operation. The advent of modern data networks has made it possible to perform sophisticated real time performance monitoring and fault localization (PM/FL). The analysis of this data are actionable in real-time and consist of data from existing sensors affixed to the towed array handling system and also embedded in the instrumented towed array. This information can be used to support adaptive reconfiguration of the data network in the event of failure detection, to more narrowly localize and diagnose a failure within the array, to prevent potential failures during deployment and retrieval, and assist in identifying the underlying cause(s) of the failure. The system also provides sensor diagnostic interfaces that support the rapid integration of new and novel sensors.
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