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Acoustic Array Simulation Environment System


OBJECTIVE: Develop an acoustic array simulation system that allows for Time/Angle of Arrival analysis, testing, validation and verification of antisubmarine warfare system (ASW) sensors on fixed wing (manned and unmanned) and rotary wing aircraft. DESCRIPTION: ASW systems and sensors under development require increasing test and evaluation prior to production decision to ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of the technology. Sensors such as Software Defined Sonobouy Receiver (SDSR) process acoustics signals received from sonobuoys, based on Time/Angle of Arrival (T/AoA), require a dispersal pattern for the signals to test the range and accuracy of the system processor hardware and software. Current test environments only allow for acoustic signals radiated from a single source (antenna) which are not geographically dispersed. T/AoA cannot be calculated properly without geographical separation of antennas. An innovative approach is needed to provide multiple acoustic signal time and angle of arrival to simulate a real time ASW environment for the test, validation, and verification of the SDSR. In addition, up to 64 acoustic signals will need to be generated from the acoustic array simulator to ensure the fidelity of the processing hardware and software systems and sensors. Also, an innovative process to convert the acoustic signal for ground testing application and environmental simulation must also be part of the proposed solution. PHASE I: Determine the feasibility and recommend an approach for developing an innovative, low cost, acoustic array simulation system that provides for end to end test and system effectiveness modeling of T/AoA in an ASW environment. Provide a recommendation for the implementation of acoustic signal conversion for ground testing and sensor simulations. Investigate the potential for the use of reusable sonobuoys as part of the acoustic array simulation system. PHASE II: Develop a prototype design of the acoustic array simulation system and determine all technical challenges and risks with the implementation of the proposed design in a real time environment. Demonstrate the feasibility of leveraging new technologies into the prototype system design. Demonstrate the generation of up to 64 acoustic signals in the test model environment. Demonstrate system reliability, maintainability, and environmental ruggedness in the overall system design. PHASE III: Build an acoustic array simulation system and demonstrate all key functional features of the system in an operational environment. Identity potential technology insertion and growth areas that can be used as targeted pre-planned product improvements and the technology areas they address as a function of the SDSR system. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The acoustic array simulation system can be used in a tailored state for the monitoring of coastal traffic in remote areas that have been used in the past for drug smuggling. The passive system receives acoustic signatures generated by surface boats used in the smuggling of illegal narcotics to allow for the real time tracking of the narcotic traffickers at sea. A GPS component can be added to allow for highly accurate geo-location of the tracked surface boat when the boat is operating under emission control (EMCON) conditions.
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