US Naval Surface Warfare Center selects Sonardyne for underwater vehicle testing ground
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19 September 2018Underwater target tracking technology from Houston-based Sonardyne Inc, has been chosen by the US Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Carderock Division for use at its South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF).
Located in Maryland, Carderock Division is the US Navy's research, engineering, modelling, and test centre for surface and undersea technologies. It is the largest, most comprehensive establishment of its kind in the world. Thanks to its proximity to the Gulf Stream, Carderock’s SFOMF provides a demanding open ocean test environment for subsea systems and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) in development for both the Navy and wider maritime industry.
To support this work, Carderock Division has ordered Sonardyne’s high accuracy Ranger 2 Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) acoustic tracking system, complete with a GyroUSBL transceiver, Nano and Wideband Sub-Mini 6 Plus (WSM 6+) transponders.
Mobilized aboard vessels-of-opportunity, the Ranger 2 system will enable operators to track the precise underwater position of any subsea system or UUV that comes through the SFOMF for testing. The system offers the capability of tracking systems in both shallow and deep water, near the surface and over very long ranges. By purchasing both Nano and WSM 6+ transponders, all sizes of vehicle can be accommodated, from man-portable models through to extra-large (XLUUV) designs.
Dan Zatezalo, Technical Sales Manager at Sonardyne Inc., said, "This system will more than meet Navy expectations. Our Ranger 2 GyroUSBL is a survey grade acoustic positioning system with built-in attitude and heading sensors, which makes moving it from vessel to vessel easy, with no new calibration required. Used alongside Nano, our smallest ever, rechargeable acoustic transponder, and WSM 6+ transponders, which both support our secure Wideband 2 signal protocols, the NSWC has a high-performance and time-saving system for its operations at Maryland. This sale also further embeds our commercial-off-the-shelf capabilities, field-proven within the US offshore energy and science sectors, into the North American defence market.”
The SFOMF has housed an active, continuously operating Navy range for more than 50 years. Its main mission is to perform electromagnetic signature tests of Navy assets, using multiple fixed, in-water electromagnetic and acoustic measurement sites. The facility also tests and evaluates mine detection, countermeasures and mine response; performs acoustic measurements; and acquires radar cross section and infrared signatures.