TB-23 Thin Line Towed Array
Towed array technology has advanced rapidly with longer, multiline systems that have an increasing number of sensors. For submarine-based ASW, the thin-line TB-23 is routinely deployed. Experiments with adaptive beam forming on both arrays are demonstrating impressive results especially for cluttered environments. Operational beam formers for towed arrays assume the array geometry to be straight and horizontal aft of the tow ship, whereas in reality there is always some deformation from this geometry. This is now measured by heading and depth sensors with varying degrees of success. The passive TB-23 array can only monitor gross deformations. A major limitation in current systems is that beam forming cannot be carried out when the ship is maneuvering, which can result in downtimes as great as 50 percent.
Many existing Navy tow cable systems have single coaxial conductors, one to two kilometers in length, on which power, uplink data, and downlink data are multiplexed (e.g. SQR-19, TB-23, TB-29). These systems typically run at uplink data rates of less than 12 Mbit/s due to bandwidth limitations of the long coaxial cable.
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