Remote Sensing Solutions is proud to announce that it has been awarded a Navy SBIR Phase I for a Next Generation Reconfigurable, Miniature Software Defined Sonar for Mapping, Target Identification, and Proximity Operation Applications.

ABSTRACT:  Advanced imaging sensors are the foundation of the Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mine Countermeasure (MCM) strategy, yet while sensors with sufficient resolution for target identification exist, they remain large, costly, and logistically challenging to deploy. Remote Sensing Solutions (RSS) is proposing to develop a unique, miniature, and easily reconfigurable Software Defined Sonar (SDS) system capable of providing the backbone of the Navy’s ASW/MCM sensing needs from common hardware and a common interface. In its primary configuration, the RSS SDS is an imaging and topographic mapping system capable of fitting into a package as small as 25cm x 6cm x 6cm and providing centimetric resolution and topographic mapping accuracy; however, because of the easy reconfigurability and large number of digitized channels, the RSS SDS can also serve as a flash sonar for fine-scale target interrogation, a low-power echo sounder, or even a multibeam collision avoidance / proximity operations sensor, all from common hardware and a common software interface. These highly different functions can be performed simultaneously, re-tasked by a user through a simple software interface, or autonomously switch between functions based on pre-defined events, such as detection of a pre-defined target. Such a capability is in direct support of the advanced yet diverse sensing needs of the Navy, while limiting deployment, configuration, and training costs for operations. The RSS SDS is enabled by our unique, low-cost ARENA platform. ARENA is both an established software-defined transceiver, allowing a high degree of customizing from a simple software graphical user interface (GUI) and/or eXtensible Markup Language (XML) object, and an Virtex Ultrascale+ processing engine, allowing complex algorithms, such as real-time interferometric synthetic aperture sonar (InSAS) processing and target detection, to be performed onboard, all within a low size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) package. Through onboard processing, target detection/classification algorithms can be performed on-vehicle, enabling longer endurance missions by allowing the sensing vehicle to perform appropriate functions (such as interrogating / neutralizing a target or contacting the host vehicle) only when an appropriate target is detected. Under this effort, RSS proposes to demonstrate the full multi-mode capability of the RSS SDS. Through a system prototype, we propose to demonstrate the capabilities of 2 or more key functions, including primarily InSAS, but also bottom sounding or obstacle detection/avoidance capabilities, from a single unit, with full software reconfigurability. These steps will establish the viability of our low cost, highly capable sensor concept.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Brian Pollard

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