As a major breakthrough in the anti-submarine war, the sonar invented during World War I changed everything. Recently, however, the ultra-light sonic enhancement (ULISSES) sonar system, built by Leonardo, has recently been field-tested off the coast of Italy. By processing signals from up to 64 sonar buoys and immersion sensors, it is able to pinpoint multiple analog submarines, paving the way for the system to go into production next year.
(From: Leonardo, via New Atlas)
By listening to the sound of the submarine, the “hunter” lurking in the sea will be instantly turned into an offensive, become a clear-around “prey.” That is why the arms race between submarine “stealth” and sonar “tracking” continues to this day.
Initially, sonar can only be used as an auditory aid, and then an active system that can be heard to know underwater objects by signal rebounding. Over the decades, sonar systems have become more complex as technology and operational skills have matured.
In some cases, systems have been replaced by increasingly complex electronic and computer algorithms. These algorithms not only detect sound, but also filter and analyze it.
What’s unusual about ULISSES is that it has a lightweight shape. Even when processors, transceivers, and recorders are included, they weigh less than 20 kg (44 lb) and are ideal for equipping helicopters or light drones rather than ship-borne or large maritime patrol aircraft.
The sparrows are small, but ULISSES is quite functional. Leonardo says it has multi-static capabilities, deployed from other platforms in a timely manner, and can also collect and analyze data from 64 sonar or immersive sonar sensors.
In this way, ULISSES not only identifies multiple enemy submarines, but also triangulation and positioning them. It is worth mentioning that the recent sea trials were also carried out in a realistic naval environment.
As an aid, Ultra Electronics offers sonar buoys, some with GPS capabilities. During the test, ULISSES was able to identify the target and display it on the workers close to the operator.
Looking ahead, the ULISSES system can also be retrofitted to an existing on-board platform for use with a variety of sensors for automatic tracking and remote control sonar buoys.