Surface Forces: Super Software for Seeking Silent Subs


December23, 2006: The U.S. Navy is looking to massive computer power, and clever software, to provide an edge against non-nuclear (and very quiet) submarines operating in coastal waters. The current system, TAMDA (Tactical Acoustic Measurement and Decision Aid), does not provide adequate results. The new systems will use two types of air dropped devices (the ADAR AN/SSQ-101 air deployable active receiver, and the AXBT AN/SSQ-36B air-launched expendable bathythermograph, conductivity, temperature, and depth probe sonobuoy.) The new software, and powerful microcomputer based processing hardware, will look for faint patterns left by submarines slowly moving through coastal waters. The new system would also take into account the underground geography, and the activity of undersea animals and plants. The number and pattern of deployed sensors would also be taken into account.

To make this work, new pattern analysis software is being developed, and will be essential to the success of this approach. The U.S. has been a leader in the development of pattern analysis software, but mainly for things like marketing and financial services. The navy is eager to increase its anti-submarine capabilities, as training exercises consistently show the subs successfully sneaking up on the surface warships.


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