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  1. Marine Acoustics Inc
16 June 2021

MAI Awarded $3M Rapid Innovation Fund

Marine Acoustic Inc (MAI), in coordination with partners In-Depth Engineering Corp (IEC) and L3Harris, is pleased to announce the award of a Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) for the development of a Cooperative Sonar Engagement capability for Theater (C-SET) anti-submarine warfare(ASW). C-SET delivers networked mission planning and communication capability to optimise cooperative use of ASW assets, optimising placement of receive sensors and platforms capable of active emissions for bistatic active sonar. This capability leverages both existing advanced pocessing and capability (AxB) sonar builds and Undersea Warfare Decision Support System (USW-DSS) architecture and an at-sea demo utilising Programme Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO-IWS) 5A sponsor resources are anticipated within the 2-year RIF period.

Integration of C-SET into Common AxB sonar systems (e.g., AN/SQQ-89, AN/BQQ-10) and Theater-level planning tools (AN/UYQ-100, NAUTICA) will allow the Theater ASW Commander the capability to use ASW assets synergistically; enabling a team of sensors to experience as much as a 50% increase in sonar coverage over single-ship (monostatic) sonar capability. Additionally, this includes opening active operations, traditionally an overt ASW prosecution mode, to the possibility of not only covert reception by multiple sensors but also mitigation of interference by unnecessary sources.

The Cooperative use of multiple sonars refines localisation of undersea threats and enables advanced kill tactics and optimisation of Theater ASW forces in complex cooperative sonar engagements. Further, the matured capability is directly transferrable to High-Velocity USW Outcomes for new surface platforms (Future Frigate, Large Surface Combatant, Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle) and undersea platforms (Orca, Snakehead, Razorback, Knifefish) identified in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Design 2.0 strategy, under a common AxB framework.

The C-SET RIF is directly enabled by the recent completion of a key Phase II SBIR, N151-055, Multi-ship Sonar Bistatic Automatic Active Localisation. MAI and IEC, in collaboration with the Applied Research Lab, University of Texas (ARLUT), verified a prototype capability enabling cooperative bistatic sonar processing with associated planning capability on an AN/SQQ-89 on a legacy Advanced Capability Build (ACB) Sonar system. MAI leveraged extensive operational ASW experience with Tactical Decision Aid (TDA) and 4-D (time-based and three-dimensional space) virtual Mission Planning Tool (MPT) capability, using its Acoustic Integration Model (AIM) modelling and simulation software for this effort.

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