Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - 10

Using Low-Frequency
Broadband Sonar on UUVs
Experimenting in Realistic Environments
Gets NewTechnology to Warfighters

A

and sometime provides an image. But
in addition to bearing and range, we
can now determine what it is. "
To test the LFBB technology, Houston
and his team have used their Reliant
and Black Pearl autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to
develop LFBB for mine countermeasures (MCM), anti-submarine warfare
(ASW) and Counter-UUV applications.
" Reliant and Black Pearl are built on
commercially-available 21-inch diameter vehicles from General Dynamics
Mission Systems Bluefin Robotics, with
our sensor being the special piece of
technology on those vehicles that
makes them unique research vehicles. "
Houston said that earlier work was
done with the Reliant platform, fitted
with a first-generation LFBB sonar.
Black Pearl is an updated vehicle and a second-generation longer-range
LFBB sonar.

According to Houston, the General
Dynamics Bluefin Robotics 21-inch vehicles are 'open ocean capable.' " They
have a lot of energy on them; fairly
high-end navigation systems; plus, we
have other things on them to make
them very useable and capable in the
open ocean. We also can go into shallow water areas and even very shallow
water areas. So, we like that aspect of
it. We want to have some 'legs' on the
vehicle and navigate accurately. The
sensors themselves aren't consistent
with a small vehicle, particularly
because the low frequencies require larger
sources and
sensor

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Aerospace & Defense Technology, May 2021

(Credit: General Dynamics Mission Systems)

number of science and technology efforts are helping to
deliver new combat capability to warfighters.
As the Navy's corporate laboratory,
the U. S. Naval Research Lab (NRL) in
Washington, D.C., conducts basic and
exploratory research, all the way up to
technology that transitions to the
warfighter.
NRL has developed a new technology
called low-frequency broadband
(LFBB), an active sonar that employs
synthetic aperture processing, with processing that employs artificial intelligence (AI) for detection and classification.
" LFBB exploits the structural
acoustics involved with underwater
sonar, " says NRL's Acoustics Division
Superintendent Dr. Brian Houston.
" When you transmit sound, the
acoustic return is very different, depending on the physical object reflecting that acoustic energy. What's in the
acoustic return is very different for each
of those targets. Sonar has traditionally helped us know
where something is,
how far away
it is,

10

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ToC


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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021

Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - Intro
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - Sponsor
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - Cov1
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - Cov2
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - 1
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - Cov3
Aerospace & Defense Technology - May 2021 - Cov4
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