QinetiQ North America (QNA) has received a contract from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, (NSWC PCD) for the demonstration of advanced side-scan sonar technology.

The company is expected to use its DOLPHIN underwater acoustic data and communications solutions in order to address the technological gap that currently exists within current side-scan sonar systems.

DOLPHIN allows users to send collaborative, interoperable and continuous sonar signals by facilitating ‘simultaneous transmit and receive’ (STAR) acoustic sonar operations.

"This award provides us an opportunity to work in partnership with the US Navy to demonstrate this revolutionary, enabling technology."

The technology has been designed to enhance the performance of subsea acoustics and can be used by both navy and commercial customers to increase their area search rate.

QinetiQ North America Maritime Systems Strategy and Business Development vice-president Mike Fry said: “This award provides us an opportunity to work in partnership with the US Navy to demonstrate this revolutionary, enabling technology to support significantly improved performance of subsea acoustics systems.

“We are very pleased and honoured to be part of this significant technology demonstration.”

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The contract was awarded on a sole-source basis as the NSWC PCD regards the technologies being investigated under the project as proprietary to QNA.

The technologies were initially developed as part of internal sonar development initiative.

According to the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), the STAR capability is based on a front-end analogue pulse cancellation system, which allows the receivers to detect returns without any blanking periods.

QNA also previously received a contract in June to deliver control hardware and software for the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and the advanced arresting gear (AAG) intended for installation on the navy’s third Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80).