Navy taps Undersea Sensor Systems for advanced submarine-hunting sonobuoys

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind., 29 Jan. 2007. U.S. Navy experts are looking to Undersea Sensor Systems Inc. in Columbia City, Md., to build additional models of the AN/SSQ-62E air-deployed sonobuoys for hunting submarines in deep and shallow waters.

Undersea Sensor won a $10.4 million contract Jan. 22 for procurement of AN/SSQ-62E sonobuoys. The contract came from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, in Crane, Ind.

The AN/SSQ-62E is the current version of the Directional Command Activated Sonobuoy System (DICASS) sonobuoy, which provides active sonar range, bearing, and Doppler information on enemy submarines.

The key advantage of the AN/SSQ-62E is its ability to transmit on any of four acoustic channels and their respective RF channels, Undersea Sensor officials say. Operators aboard anti-submarine warfare aircraft that deploy the N/SSQ-62E can use radio signals to command the transducer to deeper depths, activate sonar, or scuttle the sonobuoy.

The sonobuoy's transducer array emits omnidirectional pulses amplified and filtered for the device's compass and multiplexer, which provides a magnetic bearing reference. This signal flows through a cable assembly to the sonobuoy's surface unit and to an FM carrier for VHF transmission.

Upon deployment, the AN/SSQ-62 sonobuoy sinks to 90 feet below the surface, and its transducer active-sonar sensor drops to depths between 400 and 1,500 feet after it receives a command signal.

The sonobuoy has a thermal battery, and incorporates CFS, allowing a suitably equipped ASW aircraft to transmit UHF radio commands to the sonobuoy to select VHF operation (on/off), change RF channel frequency and sonar channel frequency, change sonar frequency independently, and change depth setting.

Work on the new sonobuoys will be in Columbia City, Ind., and should be finished by January 2009. This contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Internet. For more information contact Undersea Sensor Systems online at www.ultra-ussi.com.

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