Low Cost 3D Sonar System for Underwater Threat Detection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Branch: N/A
Contract: NBCHC060087
Agency Tracking Number: 0511067
Amount: $823,125.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: H-SB05.1-004
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
95 Hathaway Center, Suite 5, Providence, RI, 02907
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Zimmerman
 VP Engineering
 (401) 784-6700
Business Contact
 Cheryl Zimmerman
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (401) 784-6700
Email: cheryl.zimmerman@farsounder.com
Research Institution

FarSounder proposes to develop a low cost 3D sonar system for underwater threat detection. This system will be based on the FarSounder 3D sonar technology and will utilize COTS components which will leverage FarSounder`s advanced processing techniques to increase the system`s performance when compared to currently available port security sonars. For this Phase I effort FarSounder will perform a feasibility study and develop a concept design for the 3D Underwater Threat system. Phase II will deliver a prototype low cost, low power, small size system for incorporation into a multifaceted Port Security System. The ultimate commercialized system will be easy to use, easy to deploy, have a low false alarm and fall within the goal of less than $100K per 1000 feet of protected asset. The system will have the ability to detect open circuit divers, closed circuit divers, divers with propulsion assistance and underwater vehicles that approach or enter the security zone and provide an alert to a central station or system operator. FarSounder`s solution will have a high probability of detection of real underwater threats and a low false alarm rate for these targets. Through simulation, field testing with existing hardware and acoustic modeling, FarSounder will validate the key elements of the design. Phase I objectives are to develop a solution concept with effective performance and end usability in mind; demonstrate that shallow water detection of targets in 3D is possible; demonstrate that detection of swimmer size targets is possible with FarSounder`s 3D approach; study feasibility of target classification and identification; and develop a hardware architecture that utilizes all COTS components to ensure affordable future product costs. Benefits include increased protection of ports, critical waterside infrastructures and other fixed shoreline sites and prevention of attacks affecting large areas of local populations such as those near LNG terminals. The system will provide the first underwater port security system practical for use in all US ports and along extensive areas of US coastlines and inland waterways. Spinoff commercial applications include a solution for the protection of endangered marine mammals, by enabling effective localization, identification and avoidance of these mammals; a cost efficient localization and identification sonar appropriate for the $3.2B annual US fisheries industry to reduce bycatch ; and a lowcost Onboard security sonar system for commercial cargo ships, oil tankers, passenger vessels and large recreational boats.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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