Hydrophone Incorporating Open Architecture Telemetry
AREA(S): Battlespace, Electronics, Sensors
PROGRAM: PEO IWS 5/PMS 401, Submarine Acoustic Systems Program Office
technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in
Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and
import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive
technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts
730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use
of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or
work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for
accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement.
Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be
restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.
Develop a hydrophone (Acoustic Channel Assembly (ACA)) with embedded
electronics that comply with the Open Architecture Telemetry (OAT) standard to
support receive arrays with increased numbers of hydrophones and telemetry
channels per unit length and reduced ACA cost.
Currently, the acoustic channels in towed arrays deployed from surface ships
and submarines consist of an acoustic section (hydrophones) and separate
telemetry connected via micro-miniature connectors to exfiltrate acoustic
information from the array. There are many Acoustic Channel Assemblies (ACAs)
in a typical array [Ref. 1]. Innovation is sought to integrate telemetry
electronics with acoustic channel assemblies to permit enhanced coherent
Multiple towed array systems, both surface ship, surveillance, and submarine,
could utilize the new ACA’s technology and performance. By integrating
hydrophones with telemetry electronics as an acoustic channel assembly, towed
array designers can achieve higher sensor density with increased coverage
overlaps. This will enable processing enhancements of the towed array data.
Present commercial technology and hydrophones focus on single element
hydrophone sensors. The designs are typically for stationary sensing and do not
incorporate multiple elements or meet the required form factor.
The cost of the present channel assemblies and the associated electronics
(telemetry) account for approximately 20 percent of the overall cost of a towed
array. The development of an ACA with incorporated telemetry would allow a
5-10% reduction in the overall system cost by eliminating the separate
assemblies and the touch labor associated with the wiring and connectors.
The performance of towed arrays improves when there are more ACAs and telemetry
channels per unit length [Ref. 2]. Array performance and processing can
significantly increase when single paired hydrophone telemetry channels with
separate telemetry are replaced with improved acoustic sensors with embedded
electronics to support data exfiltration. Integration of hydrophones with key
telemetry electronics will provide for inherent redundancy and graceful
degradation in the event of a sensor failure.
The Navy needs an innovative technology that combines the acoustic channel
performance with an increased number of ACAs and telemetry channels per unit
length. This capability will assist the Navy in maintaining or increasing its
tactical advantage in the undersea Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) domain. The
solution will consist of an acoustic sensing section and the associated
electronics to acquire the acoustic information, convert signals to a digital
format, and then transmit the data to the second-level telemetry backbone. The
entire assembly will be packaged as a single unit. The Navy will provide an
Interface Control Document (ICD) that defines the incoming power (estimated 100
milli-watts per ACA), channel performance requirements, and the digital output
format, which complies with the Department of Justice Interface Control
Document standard [Ref. 3]. The ACA acoustic improvement goal is to measurably
improve noise rejection (e.g., improve noise rejection greater than 3 dB) of
the turbulent boundary layer noise typical for acoustic sensor towed inside a
ACAs experience extreme environments; therefore, the system and/or sensors must
be capable of functioning without damage or degradation in pressures (depth) up
to 1200 psi, temperatures over a range of -28°C to 50°C, and accelerations up
to 100 Hz over a range of 0.0 g to 25.0 g. The reliability of the ACA must
support a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of at least 7000 hours.
Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective
contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as
defined by DOD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating
Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be
implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected
contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret
level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on
advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to
gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the
United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The
selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M
during the advance phases of this contract.
Develop a concept for an improved ACA that integrates the hydrophone with
telemetry electronics identified in the Description. Demonstrate feasibility
through modeling, development, and analysis. The Phase I Option, if exercised,
will include the initial system specifications and capabilities description to
build a prototype solution in Phase II.
Design, develop, produce, and deliver two dozen of the Improved Acoustic
Channel Assembly prototypes. (Note: The Government will provide support for
packaging the assemblies within a towed array as well as environmental testing
as required.) Demonstrate the prototypes at a Government- or performer-provided
facility. Provide technical support to the Government to conduct environmental
testing at NUWCDIVNPT, Middleton, RI and performance testing at NSWC Acoustic
Research Detachment, Bayview, ID.
It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase
II (see Description section for details).
DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Assist the government in transitioning the technology
for Navy use. Conduct experimentation and refinement to qualify the system for
use on towed arrays. (Note: The Government will provide the performer access to
a Navy ship for validation and performance verification of the final system.)
Support installation and removal from an at-sea test platform and assist in
data recovery and processing using the system for towed arrays.
This system would prove useful for oceanographic research, oil and gas
exploration, congested-area traffic monitoring, and other applications where
data from multiple disparate sensors are fused to provide a more holistic
awareness of the volume being monitored by said sensors, especially where said
sensors are not in fixed locations.
1. Lemon, S.
G. "Towed-Array History, 1917-2003." IEEE Journal of Oceanic
Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 2, April 2004, pp. 365-373. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1315726/
William S. “Underwater Acoustic System Analysis.” Prentice-Hall, Inc.: New
Jersey, 2002. https://www.worldcat.org/title/underwater-acoustic-system-analysis/oclc/70580566
Control Document, The Department of Justice Systems Development Life Cycle
Guidance Document, Appendix C-16, January 2003.” https://www.justice.gov/archive/jmd/irm/lifecycle/appendixc16.htm
Towed Array; Acoustic Channel Assemblies; Turbulent Boundary Layer; Telemetry;
Hydrophone; Embedded Electronics in Towed Arrays