The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport (NUWCDIVNPT) has modeled and is building a prototype for a technology to improve the directivity of acoustic sensor arrays. The Navy has overcome a fundamental limit to every sonar system — the length of the acoustic aperture — by creating a means to generating shorter wavelength replicas of the original signal. The result is an increase in the ratio of measured wavelengths to the length of the fixed array aperture. The shorter replicas of the original signal can be sampled at a finer scale to significantly improve directivity gains by 10dB or more, especially at lower frequencies.
The Navy’s technology is applicable to any linear, planar, or conformal acoustic array configuration. The Navy technique precisely Bragg-shifts the signals in wavenumber to create smaller, repeating replicas of the original trace wavelength. The result is enhanced directional gain.
- Highly Sensitive: Signal gains of 10 dB or more possible, depending on source wavelengths
- Versatile: Applicable to 1-D, 2-D and 3-D sensor applications using linear, planar, or conformal acoustic arrays
- Efficient: Improved sampling and gain without requiring a larger array
- US Patent 8,873,340
- Potential for collaboration with NUWCDIVNPT researchers to further improve the technology and pursue joint opportunities