Archive for category Acoustics & Sonar
Yes, it appears that sequester is unavoidable. According to the Department of the Navy press release we won’t be marveling at the flight of Blue Angels above our heads. If you are one of those who seen them fly, consider yourself lucky. It won’t be happening for a while.
Among other things, he release says the Navy plans to shut down Carrier Air Wing Two in April. The air wing is based California, but one of the squadrons VFA-34 is based at Oceana.
The Navy also intends to cancel four appearances by the Blue Angels. The Navy will cancel or defer the deployment of up to six ships throughout the month April.
The Navy will also defer USNS Comfort’s humanitarian deployment to Central and South America. The USNS Comfort just came into Naval Station Norfolk on Friday.
The Navy press release states these actions are being taken to “preserve support for those forces stationed overseas and currently forward-deployed. “We made these choices careful while trying to preserve the ability to reverse or quickly restore negative effects if and when funding is restored.”
Posted by Val in Acoustics & Sonar, Analysis and Signal Processing, Continuing Education and Seminar Marketing, Defense, Including Radar, Missiles and EW, ENGINEERING, General, GPS Technology, Satellites, Space and Satellites, Systems Engineering & Project Management, Systems Engineering and Project Management, Underwater Acoustics and Sonar, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) on February 6, 2013
The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime directives of any government or company.
The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, systems engineering and signal processing. Since 1984 ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. The courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications.
When your company does not want to pay for the training you really want, as an alternative, you can:
- Spent your own personal money and funds; if you believe in it and then you will do it
- Find a user group who are practicing the skills you desire
- Don’t accept the classic answer from the boss, “How does X help the business?”. If the training is relevant to you achieving a goal of being a much better employee then of course it is relevant.
- Find another organization to work for
A training manager with a good team can:
- Fight for your team and their training; fight for your team’s budget and don’t let the senior management take it away
- Give up your personal training for the entire year and suggest that they allocate the extra budget to training for your team members
- Perhaps, it is time to evaluate the relationship with the preferred supplier of training. Has your firm been getting decent value from the PSL (preferred supplier list)?
- Find alternatives to training like brown bag lunches and/or collaborate with other businesses
Everybody needs training and self-improvement.
Please share your opinion with us by commenting below.
“The Saga of the 1972 Guardfish Patrol” by Capt David Minton was read by his Russian counterpart Rear Admiral Alfred S. Berzin, who was the SSGN K-184 commanding officer in the Pacific. For his account of the events please follow this link to the Russian Navy blog.
Would you like to know how our everyday soundscapes make you feel – be it happy, excited, productive, sad, uncomfortable, stressed, etc?
Soon we all will be able to, thanks to a new exciting research project hosted by the University of Salford, UK called Sound Around You Project.
The man behind The Sounds Around You Map Project is Researcher Charlie Mydlarz. He studies at University of Salford’s Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre, Manchester, UK. He has been building a sound map of the world to investigate how sounds in the everyday environment affect people.
All you need to do is capture and tell Charlie about the sounds around you with our free mobile phone and pc software.
Participation is easy and fun and will help our research team discover ways to improve the design of our everyday environments.
You can watch this video for more explanation.
To get involved visit www.soundaroundyou.com
U.S. Navy-trained dolphins and sea lions have helped detect and disable underwater mines for decades. But a growing swarm of robots will allow the Navy’s squads of sea mammals to begin retiring by 2017, the Navy says.
The sea mammals have used their natural sonar or low-light vision to help detect mine threats and even call out enemy divers since the 1960s — dolphins in particular helped mark mines during the Persian Gulf War and Iraq War. Their exemplary service is drawing to a close as the Navy turns to a growing fleet of cheaper robots to do the job.
Navy-trained sea mammals underwent different types of training depending on their capabilities. For instance, dolphins used their biological sonar to detect the location of sea mines so that they could report back to human handlers with yes or no responses. They could also mark mine locations with buoy lines, or even prepare to disable the mines by attaching explosive charges to them.
The impending retirement of the Navy’s sea mammals is part of the broader trend of the U.S. military using robots. Navy efforts include testing robot boats armed with missiles and experimenting with its large X-47B drone capable of taking off from the decks of aircraft carriers.
Bats can detect ultra-small perturbations in the air, and understanding this ability could improve sensitive detection equipment.
Bats are great at hunting down prey via echolocation, in which their ultrasonic chirps bounce off anything in the air. Specialized ear designs and other features detect the returning sounds, helping the bats determine the location of a moving target. But what about when the target is still?
Bats have been observed seeking out and catching inert insects hiding amid clutter, and finally scientists think they’ve figured out how the animals do it. The flapping motion of a bat moves the air sufficiently to ruffle the wings of their insect prey, and this trifling perturbation can be detected. Understanding the way bats do this could help improve biomimetic sensors, according to Roman Kuc, professor of electrical engineering at Yale University, and his colleague/son Victor Kuc.
The father-son team filmed a common big-eared bat, Micronycteris microtis, with a high-speed camera. The bat hovered over a completely still dragonfly sitting on a leaf, and was able to detect it and pick it up. Watching the playback in slow motion, the Kucs noticed the dragonfly’s wings move ever so slightly in the air current caused by the flapping bat. The dragonfly wings moved in sync with the bat wings. The Kucs then made a model of the induced wing movements and how they affected the returning echoes, according to Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
To do it, they took a real dragonfly, plastic leaves and a robotic sonar system to generate sound pulses. They used an airbrush to puff air at the dragonfly, simulating the beating bat wings. The resulting echo waveforms gave it away: The leaf didn’t really ruffle, but the dragonfly wings did. The Kucs say that bats can figure out the difference, and use it to detect the location of prey that is otherwise silent and totally still.
The haunting sounds of bowhead whales, which sing their songs under Arctic ice through long, dark polar winters, have been recorded in unprecedented detail.
The recordings reveal a vocal repertoire every bit as rich as better-studied humpback and sperm whales, and hint at complex social organizations and lifestyle patterns hidden until now by the bowheads’ extreme remoteness.
“We know relatively little about bowhead whales. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they’re Arctic whales, found in the high, ice-covered north,” said oceanographer Kate Stafford of the University of Washington. “This data gives us a window into a world that’s largely inaccessible.”
What little scientists do know about bowheads is fascinating. Second only to blue whales in size, they’re highly social and extraordinarily long-lived: 19th-century harpoons have been recovered from their bodies, and some bowheads alive today may have been swimming when Thomas Jefferson was President.
Hunted nearly to extinction, bowhead populations have rebounded since the 1960s, giving scientists a chance to study them. Late in the summer of 2008, Stafford and colleagues dropped two underwater microphones into the icy waters of the Fram Strait, between Greenland and Norway, where a handful of bowhead sightings were reported over the last several decades.
Bowhead whales are uniquely adapted to Arctic life; their name describes a skull shape suited for punching holes through thick ice, enabling bowheads to surface and breathe in winter (above). The thick winter ice may also have acoustic properties, amplifying their songs like an amphitheater.
To hear what they sound like, click the play button on the audio samples below.
Image & audio: Kate Stafford
Stafford’s team hoped merely to catch a few sounds, a stray grunt or moan. Instead, as described in a study published July 31 inEndangered Species Research, they heard a veritable choral symphony.
Between November and late April, hardly an hour passed without the microphones picking up a song. The whales sang for five months straight, and their songs proved unexpectedly rich: No fewer than 60 distinctive types were identified, surpassing in sheer diversity the range of any other baleen whale species.
Unlike extensively studied sperm and humpback whale vocalizations, which can be analyzed in some detail — researchers have described sounds that appear to signify names and clan affiliation,between-whale conversations and cultural patterns of learning — bowhead interpretation is in its infancy.
Individual whales might sing a few songs, or a great many. Juveniles and adults could have different repertoires. So might males and females. Songs could pass between generations or across groups. They could convey the same types of information heard in other whales, or mean something else altogether.
“We just don’t have enough data,” said Stafford, who explained that recorders hardy enough to survive months of Arctic immersion have only existed for a few years. “For humpbacks and sperm whales, that work goes back decades. For bowheads, we’re talking a couple years. But there’s similarly neat stuff going on.”
Stafford suspects some songs involve navigation, helping bowheads coordinate over long distances, and some almost certainly involve mating. The sheer volume of songs also seems linked to the nature of polar winters, which plunge Arctic oceans into icebound, near-total darkness for almost five straight months.
That’s precisely when the bowheads sang so richly. Stafford’s recordings might represent a bowhead bacchanal. “I don’t want to be anthropomorphic, but they’re spectacular,” she said. “They are loud, and they go on and on.”
Download the summary of the paper here.
Do You know All There Is to Know About All the Major System Components in a SONAR System?
Since 1984, the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) has provided leading-edge public courses and onsite technical training. Whether you are a busy engineer, a technical expert or a project manager, you can enhance your understanding of complex systems in a short time. You will become aware of the basic vocabulary essential to interact meaningfully with your colleagues. If you or your team is in need of more technical training, then boost your career with the knowledge needed to provide better, faster, and cheaper solutions for sophisticated systems
What You Will Learn:
• The differences between various types of SONAR used on naval platforms today
• The fundamental principles governing these systems’ operation
• How these systems’ data are used to conduct passive and active operations
• How to avoid previous mistakes revealed when systems were taken to sea
• Signal acquisition and target motion analysis for passive systems
• Waveform and receiver design for active systems
• The major cost drivers for undersea acoustic systems
Course Outline, Samplers, and Notes
Our short courses are designed for individuals involved in planning, designing, building, launching, and operating space and defense systems. Determine for yourself the value of our courses before you sign up. See our samples (See Slide Samples) on some of our courses.
Or check out the new ATI channel on YouTube.
You will receive a full set of detailed notes at the beginning of the class for future reference and you can add notes and more detail based on the in-class interaction. After completing the course you will also receive a certificate of completion. Please visit our website for more valuable information.
About ATI and the Instructors
Our mission here at ATI is to provide expert training and the highest quality professional development in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. We are not a one-size-fits-all educational facility. Our short classes include both introductory and advanced courses.
ATI’s instructors are world-class experts who are the best in the business. They are carefully selected for their ability to clearly explain advanced technology.
Dr. Harold “Bud” Vincent, Research Associate Professor of Ocean Engineering at the University of Rhode Island and President of DBV Technology, LLC is a U.S. Naval officer qualified in submarine warfare and salvage diving. He has over twenty years of undersea systems experience working in industry, academia, and government (military and civilian). He served on active duty on fast attack and ballistic missile submarines, worked at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and conducted advanced R&D in the defense industry. Dr. Vincent received the M.S. and Ph.D in Ocean Engineering (Underwater Acoustics) from the University of Rhode Island. His teaching and research encompasses underwater acoustic systems, communications, signal processing, ocean instrumentation, and navigation. He has been awarded four patents for undersea systems and algorithms.
Dr. Duncan Sheldon has over twenty-five years’ experience in the field of active sonar signal processing. At Navy undersea warfare laboratories (New London, CT, and Newport, RI) he directed a multiyear research program and developed new active sonar waveforms and receivers for ASW and mine warfare. This work included collaboration with U.S. and international sea tests. His experience includes real-time direction at sea of surface sonar assets during ‘free-play’ NATO ASW exercises. He was a Principal Scientist at the NATO Undersea Research Centre at La Spezia, Italy. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1969 and has published articles on waveform and receiver design in the U.S. Navy Journal of Underwater Acoustics.
Date and Location
For the date and location of this short course, please see below:
Aug 13-16, 2012 Newport, RI
The ATI Courses Team
P.S Call today for registration at 410-956-8805 or 888-501-2100 or access our website at www.ATIcourses.com. For general questions please email us at ATI@ATIcourses.com
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P.P.S. What Happens at ATI does NOT Stay at ATI because our training helps you and your organization remain competitive in this changing world. Please feel free to call Mr. Jenkins personally to discuss your requirements and objectives. He will be glad to explain in detail what ATI can do for you, what it will cost, and what you can expect in results and future performance.
NOAA’s newest ship, the “Hassler”, has some of the most sophisticated equipment available to collect that data.
The scientific research being done aboard the Hassler will have some very practical applications.
The “fish” being deployed into the water is actually a side-scanning sonar device that enables the team of scientists and NOAA officers to make a detailed survey of the sea floor.
“The side-scan is very important because it gives us a very high resolution picture of the sea-bed. It allows us to clearly see obstructions and wrecks,” Lt. Cmdr. Ben Evans said.
And in shallow water it is capable of scanning a very wide area of the sea-floor. This data, along with depth readings from multi-beam sonar devices, is used by NOAA to produce maps and charts to guide merchant vessels transiting the port of Hampton Roads.
“The port is a huge economic engine for the area, so we want to make sure those container ships can come in fully loaded and know exactly how much water they have underneath of their hulls,” Andrew Larkin with NOAA said.
Keeping the maps and charts up to date is a constant process because like the crew of the Hassler, the sea floor is constantly on the move.
“The out-flow from rivers or storms can move the sand and mud in the area to the approaches of the Chesapeake Bay,” Larkin added. “Occasionally we’ll see things like wrecks, a ship could go down or a container could fall off a ship and block the channel.”
The technology aboard the Hassler enables scientists to find and record changes to the sea floor in a fraction of the time this process used to require.
“What used to take mariners with a sounding line, it would take em two minutes to do one sounding. Now we’re doing 1,028 about 20-times a second,” David Moehl said.
In fact, the Hassler and her crew are gathering more data than was ever possible.
The president’s plan to delay the purchase of one Virginia-class submarine would add millions to the cost of the program and force layoffs across the country, according to those in the submarine building industry.
To save money now, the proposed budget calls for building one Virginia-class submarine in 2014 instead of two, and two submarines in 2018 instead of one.
But it will add an estimated $600 million to the cost later, according to the Navy’s figures, said John Holmander, Electric Boat’s vice president who manages the Virginia-class program.
The USS California, the eighth Virginia-class submarine, cost $2.38 billion.
Labor and parts will cost more four years later. Disrupting the schedule, and the learning curve, creates inefficiencies, which lead to higher costs, Holmander said.
The work on the second submarine in 2014 represents about 2 million man hours annually for five years at EB and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia – enough work to keep 800 to 1,000 people busy. Those employees would most likely be laid off starting in 2014 if Congress approves the proposed plan, Holmander said.
Dan DePompei, co-chairman of the Submarine Industrial Base Council, compared the delay’s impact at EB and Newport News to an earthquake.
“But it’s the tsunami that affects the rest of us,” he said, referring to the more than 5,000 suppliers that provide parts and services for the Virginia-class program. “When you get down to the smaller businesses, some of which are really small businesses, it’s very difficult to rebound.”
For some, a large share of their profits depends on that work, he said. EB would have placed purchase orders worth at least $150 million next year for parts for the submarine with long lead times.
The Navy says it made hard decisions about its shipbuilding programs as a whole “to maintain a balanced portfolio of naval capabilities and meet the constraints imposed by today’s austere fiscal environment,” the Naval Sea Systems Command said in a statement.
“The Virginia class is one of many programs that has had to adjust to meet current fiscal realities,” the statement said.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said “there is no logic” for the delay since it will cost so much – monetarily and strategically – in the long run.
The number of attack submarines in the fleet will drop below 48, the stated number required for the missions, in the 2020s as the Cold War era attack submarines retire more quickly than they are replaced. It will hit a low of 39 in 2030. The submarines that are built today are slated to be in service for every year of the gap.
Changing the Virginia-class program is a “very short-sighted way to budget,” said Courtney, who is working to restore the second submarine in the 2014 plans.
Courtney, along with U.S. Reps. J. Randy Forbes, James R. Langevin and Robert J. Wittman, wrote to the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee Thursday to ask for their “continued support for the Virginia-class submarine program and the industrial base that supports it.”
“Do you really want to upset your most efficient program?” asked Bob Ross, executive director of the state’s Office of Military Affairs. “That’s the question I think is being asked by a lot of people in Washington, and it’s a good question.”
DePompei said he understands that other defense manufacturers are facing the same hardships as submarine suppliers but the SIBC wants the Pentagon to make the “right cuts” to lower the budget. The council’s goal is to educate policymakers and the public about the nation’s ability to design, build and maintain submarines.
“The Virginia-class program is recognized and documented as the most successful government program in decades,” he said, referring to the leaders in the Defense Department who have praised the program as a model for efficient acquisition.
As the submarine suppliers lose revenue they had projected on the basis of the Navy’s original plan to buy two submarines in 2014, they may, in turn, raise the price of the submarine parts and services they are selling and reduce labor costs by laying off personnel, DePompei said.
“The significance of that is these cutbacks would be felt in all 50 states because the suppliers are in all 50 states,” he added.
EB avoided laying off some employees during past dips in the workload by sending people to the public shipyards to work on projects there.
“We have to deal with realities,” Holmander said. “We are going to try our best, but two million hours a year missing is a lot of work and a lot of jobs.”
These employees could be rehired in 2018, Holmander said, but there is no guarantee they would be available to come back. It will take time to train new people and get former employees back up to speed, he said.
Holmander said he was also concerned about the interruption in the learning curve. The lessons that would have been learned on the second submarine in 2014 will now be learned on the first submarine in 2015.
“Every subsequent unit will be one ship off of the learning curve,” he said.
The budget does propose spending millions to develop a module with missile tubes that could boost firepower on Virginia-class submarines. But that project would not be enough to offset the work lost on the second submarine in 2014, Holmander said, and it will require engineers and designers, not employees in the trades.