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June 2002 Excerpt

State-of-the-Art Upgrades Completed on USNS Hayes (TAG 195) Acoustic Ranging System




By Donald Hartge

CAPE CANAVERAL—The USNS Hayes Acoustic Ranging System was funded for upgrade last year, to incorporate state-of-the-art technology. The system is used aboard the Hayes during sea acoustic trials to determine how far underwater objects are from the ship’s sea position. The real time data are processed to provide X/Y tracking in real time.

USNS Hayes (TAG 195), is supported by our Cape Canaveral Detachment, to acquire, process, and analyze acoustic data in support of the Navy’s Submarine Noise Reduction Program. The ship uses two Acoustic Range Measurement Systems during acoustic trials. One system processes radiated noise data, and the other tracks range safety.

Donald Hartge (733) re-designed the older Acoustic Ranging System, which consisted of a large, non-portable system using older technology. The new design incorporates two IBM PC-based printed circuit cards. System timing is based on satellite global positioning system (GPS) referenced time. Software programming is accomplished with LabView. The first PC card provides timing, range calculations, storage, and communications. The second card develops four timed analog signals which are transmitted using underwater transducers. These can be interrogated by other vessels, and our own acoustic receivers, for range measurements.

Our engineers completed two successful at-sea trials. A third sea trial, which will occur early this summer, is needed to finalize software upgrades to the real time tracking system. Once the trial is complete, the new PC systems will be fully operational.


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