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Small Diameter Heading Sensors for use in Towed Thin Line Arrays

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Author: Volwerk, C. · Been, R. · Kromjongh, J. · Jarvis, A.K.
Publisher: Nexus Media Ltd
Place: Swanley, Kent
Institution: TNO Fysisch en Elektronisch Laboratorium
Source:UDT Europe 2000 - Conference Proceedings Undersea Defence Technology, 27 - 29 June, 2000, London, UK
Identifier: 95265


Quieter targets imply longer sonar arrays for improved detection performance. Straight-line assumptions in the beamforming process are no longer valid and it becomes important to know the actual hydrophone positions. Knowing the shape and attitude of a hydrophone array with sufficient accuracy enables correction of the beamwidth and sidelobe behaviour, limits signal losses and gives accurate target bearings. Mostly, heading sensors are used to estimate the shape and attitude, in conjunction with hydrodynamic towed array models. Since deck space is often a limiting factor, there is a tendency towards thin line arrays. Heading sensors, however, are not easy to scale down. The main problem is to maintain the accuracy while minimising electronics and mechanical parts. A consortium that consists of LITEF GmbH (Germany), Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems (UK) and TNO-FEL (The Netherlands) has taken the initiative to develop a high-tech small diameter sensor and to prove its performance during a sea-trial. It consists of three micro-mechanical accelerometers and three magnetometers. First results are promising