Multiple Sonobuoy Data Association and Classification
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-047
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-047 TITLE: Multiple Sonobuoy Data Association and Classification

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Electronics, Battlespace


OBJECTIVE: Develop data association and classification processing techniques for multiple sonobuoys that improve tracking and fusion

DESCRIPTION: Improved acoustic tracking and measurements of target acoustic frequency signatures are needed in the Aircraft Carrier Tactical Support Center (CV-TSC). CV-TSC provides acoustic contacts from passive sonobuoys. Ways to improve the detection, localization and classification of acoustic contacts which will aid in successful fusion with radar, Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR),Electronic Warfare (EW), and other tactically integrated sensors are sought. In order to correctly associate these contacts with data being provided by non-acoustic sensors (RADAR, (EW), Electro-Optical [EO)/Infrared (IR)], an accurate localization and uncertainty region must be computed. This reduces the amount of false tracks, duals, and clutter passed on to the correlation process by the acoustic tracker. CV-TSC has the need for a capability in acoustic tracking and measurements of the acoustic frequency signature of targets that will provide a complete Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) situational awareness (SA) picture. These techniques also need to provide research and support development of target localization and acoustic identification aids. In particular, it addresses acoustic tracking and identification for ASW assets and sensors

Current ASW SA is derived by tracking objects using single frequency or harmonic frequency sets. Many of the acoustic contacts obtained are naturally broadband in nature and have fundamental frequencies that do not lie within the frequency spectrums used by ASW [ref 1]. This degrades tracking them under the current ASW means and thus limits the ASW SA picture.

The Navy seeks methods that involve recognition and classification of arbitrary frequency sets which are obtained from sonobuoys and provide the Navy with a complete Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Situational Awareness picture. The method must be capable of having the obtained frequency set give input to the data association algorithms. It must also provide a method of initializing tracking of an object. The resulting spectrum signatures will be stored for later stages of attribute data fusion and used with other nonacoustic sensor data.

Improvements to tracking performance are the basis for determination whether the proposed data association and frequency signature formation are successful [ref 2]. The tracking metrics of track swap score and track ambiguity ratio will improve through the tracking of a frequency signature. Improved data association provides an enhanced bearing bias estimation that yields accurate spatial tracking which will improve the ASW situational awareness by detection, classification and localization of threats.

Data association and classification processing will provide CV-TSC improved acoustic tracking and measurements of the arbitrary acoustic frequency signature of targets. The frequency signature is used for situational awareness of a previously tracked target which will potentially be reacquired for tracking. The Navy seeks high level data fusion with other nonacoustic sensors with the ultimate goal of integrating and combining multiple sensor systems into a complete ASW situational awareness picture.

PHASE I: The company will develop a concept for data association and classification processing technique that meets the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for data association and classification processing techniques. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop data association and classification processing techniques according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The data association and classification algorithms and techniques have application in the medical industry, where multiple ultrasonic transducers are used for tracking anomalies in tissue.

1. Sildam, Juri. Passive Tracking and Detection of Underwater Narrow-band Acoustical Spectrum Signatures. OCEANS 2008, Pages 1-6. September 15-19 2008.

2. Bar-Shalom, Y. Li, X.-R, and Kirubarajan, T. "Multitarget-Multisensor Tracking: Principles and Techniques. YBS, 1995.

KEYWORDS: sonobuoy detection; localization and classification; signature attributes; Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); situational awareness; data fusion with nonacoustic sensors; acoustic frequency signature

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