Navy researchers ask Penn State to develop sonar autonomous underwater navigation for submarines and UUVs

March 17, 2020
Penn State researchers will develop and demonstrate navigational sonar systems for continuous underwater autonomous navigation.

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. Navy researchers needed enabling technologies for sonar-based continuous subsea autonomous navigation for manned and unmanned submarines. They found their solution from the Penn State University Applied Research Laboratory in University Park, Pa.

Officials of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., announced an $8.4 million contract to the Penn State Applied Research Lab on Friday for the Advanced Broadband Navigation Sonar System Future Naval Capabilities program.

Penn State researchers will develop and demonstrate navigational sonar systems for continuous subsea autonomous navigation. Sonar, short for sound navigation and ranging, detects undersea objects by transmitting powerful sound waves through the ocean and detecting return signals that bounce off objects.

ONR researchers are asking Penn State experts to improve undersea position and velocity estimation using sonar to give Navy manned submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) with enhanced navigational performance.

Penn State won this contract by participating in the Long Range Broad Agency Announcement for Navy and Marine Corps Science & Technology project.

On this contract the Penn State Applied Research Lab will do the work in University Park, Pa., and should be finished by March 2023. For more information contact the Penn State Applied Research Lab at

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John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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