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Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Detection and Classification in Harbor Environments


New or improved sensing concepts and technologies are needed to better recognize the presence of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) operating in ports and harbors, particularly in the proximity of U.S. Navy ships and submarines. The maturity and proliferation of UUVs throughout the world is presenting an emerging challenge for force protection in harbor environments. It is important to counter sensor laden units that do not present a direct threat, but an armed UUV presents a particularly compelling challenge. The mobility of UUVs limits the effectiveness of traditional mine countermeasures like change detection. The stationary nature of the assets that are being protected in harbors allows for slow and deliberate approaches by enemy platforms. Current strategies for detecting and classifying UUVs employ systems that were originally designed to detect combat swimmers and scuba divers. A number of these systems have demonstrated some capability against UUV targets that were presented in a controlled research environment, but the typical warning ranges do not provide a completely satisfactory response window. It is envisioned that multi-modal layered approach has the potential to significantly increase the average response window available to counter UUV approaches to U.S. Navy assets. PHASE I: Determine the technical feasibility of a UUV sensing approach that would be effective for Remus 100 size and larger targets and develop a system design and concept of operation for implementing it, either as an independent system or in concert with existing sonar technology. Design considerations include an objective standoff distance of 1000 meters and a false alarm tolerance of one per day. The improved sensing technology will be integrated into the over-arching asset protection infrastructure. PHASE II: Produce UUV sensor prototype hardware along with a concept of operations based on the Phase I effort. Demonstrate and validate performance of the UUV sensor developmental system against Remus 100 size targets in a relevant environment. A completely functional system is not required at the end of the Phase II effort; however, a demonstration during Phase II should clearly support the expected performance of a final design. PHASE III: Based upon Phase I and Phase II efforts, the developed sensing technologies and systems that have demonstrated effective detection and classification of UUVs in harbor environments will be candidates for prototype development and test and evaluation that will support incorporation into the Strategic Systems Program Nuclear Weapons Security WQX-2 Program of Record. Additional transition targets include the Naval Facilities Command Electronic Harbor Security System.

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