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Networked Undersea Autonomous Sensing and Tracking

The ability to localize targets of interest by passive detection and tracking from autonomous underwater vehicles has numerous challenges. Tracking by underwater vehicles typically involves long arrays of hydrophones for accurate bearing estimation, which can interfere with the flight of many, slow-moving, smaller underwater gliders that rely on buoyancy engines for propulsion. In addition, passive localization of such targets would rely upon the bearing estimates from multiple distributed underwater vehicles, requiring each system to communicate its data to a central node for subsequent triangulation estimation. In this work, the feasibility of utilizing distributed underwater gliders with advanced acoustic vector sensors for bearing estimation, and acoustic modems for communication through surface platform gateways will be investigated. Of particular interest will be the bearing resolution of such sensors at low signal to noise levels, the accuracy of cross bearing triangulation from multiple systems, and the ability to efficiently transmit bearing information for target signals of interest.
NPS Naval Research Program
NPS Naval Research Program