Digital Thin Line Array
Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Un-manned Surface Vehicles (USV) are employed extensively in many underwater research and surveillance applications. Equipping these platforms with a sensor array, such as a linear towed array, would enhance their object detection and localization performance. The towed arrays for these platforms have to be lightweight and small in diameter. We have been working on the development of lightweight arrays for several years, focusing on both ceramic-based sensor technology and fibre laser sensor hydrophone technology. The Digital Thin Line Array (DTLA) is a linear array developed for use with unmanned underwater or surface platforms for surveillance applications. The following are some of the highlights of the DTLA:
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The array, along with its data acquisition system, has been integrated and tested with several AUV platforms, including our own STARFISH AUVs. The capability of DTLA to detect and track underwater acoustic sources using an AUV has been tested out in the field. The system has also been employed successfully in seabed characterization studies. The other possible applications include: