Submarine and Helicopter Sonar Suite Upgrades Mission Systems
Sonar is a critical system for underwater warfare platforms. Not only is it vital for effectively carrying out missions, but also to ensure the survivability of crew members in the hostile environments in which they operate. Developing underwater anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasure applications can be a tricky task, as sensors suites often demand high levels of performance and durability, but are extremely limited in available space and power, especially for dipping sonar systems used onboard helicopter platforms. When a well-known system developer was performing maintenance and overhaul on one of its sonar suites developed for both underwater and rotary aircraft platforms, it was deemed by the customer that existing subsystems supporting the acoustic sensors would no longer be able to cope with upgraded requirements.
The sonar system was developed based on the open, interoperable architecture in anticipation of such a situation when upgrades were deemed necessary, as well as keeping the costs of ownership to a minimum. Since the system was developed in such a way, the integrator looked beyond replacing just the outdated mission computer and sensor, but also the Ethernet switch that would connect the system and be able to support a large amount of data being streamed. The systems they would choose also had to be compliant with military vehicle and aircraft standards to withstand the harsh environments of both air and sea.
As a European company, the system developer was limited in the choices it had for rugged mission computers and switches, due to regulations such as CE marking, Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), and Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Not only was it important to find solutions that met their technical requirements, but they also had to meet stringent European regulatory standards, and not fall under US Export ITAR restrictions.
Read about the solution Curtiss-Wright developed and the results achieved in our case study.
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