Lockheed Martin prepares to upgrade Navy submarine sonar to latest digital signal processing

WASHINGTON – Submarine sonar experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are preparing to bring digital signal processing capability aboard U.S. Navy fast-attack, cruise-missile, and ballistic-missile submarines up-to-date through the year 2020.

Jun 26th, 2017
Content Dam Mae Online Articles 2017 06 688 Submarine 26 June 2017
WASHINGTON – Submarine sonar experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are preparing to bring digital signal processing capability aboard U.S. Navy fast-attack, cruise-missile, and ballistic-missile submarines up-to-date through the year 2020.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $130.8 million contract last week for engineering work involving the Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) program's technical insertions (TI) 18 to 20.

The A-RCI program seeks to provide improvements in acoustic sensing aboard U.S. fast-attack, cruise-missile, and ballistic-missile submarines without changing the sonar transducer sensors through the rapid insertion of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based digital signal processing hardware.

By upgrading ship sensor processing, A-RCI will integrate improve submarine towed-array, hull-array and sphere-array sonar sensors arrays. A-RCI technology insertions describe biannual computer hardware upgrades. Periodic software upgrades are called advanced processor builds (APBs).

Related: Lockheed Martin moving to next-generation sonar signal processing for new Virginia-class submarines

The Navy began the Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) program in the late 1990s as a way to capitalize on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) rugged server and embedded computing technology to make quick periodic upgrades of submarine sonar signal processing capability.

Lockheed Martin is working on the A-RCI program as prime contractor, together with computer equipment supplier Germane Systems in Chantilly, Va.

An open-systems architecture makes the most of commercial processing development, and enables submarine signal processing systems to use complex algorithms that Navy-developed sonar systems such as the AN/BSY-1 and AN/BSY-2 systems could not use.

The A-RCI program seeks to move the latest COTS digital signal processing technology into submarine signal processing systems aboard Virginia-, Seawolf-, and Los Angeles-class fast attack submarines, as well as aboard Ohio-class missile submarines on a regular basis to keep pace with commercial embedded computing developments.

Related: Lockheed Martin to make COTS upgrades to submarine sonars in $29.4 million contract

A-RCI is an open architecture sonar system that Navy officials intend to maintain an advantage in acoustic detection of threat submarines, using legacy sonar sensors. The program regularly refreshes central processors with COTS computer technology and software. A-RCI processors handle data from the submarine’s spherical array, hull array, wide aperture array, high-frequency arrays, and towed arrays.

On this contract Lockheed Martin is doing the work for the U.S. Navy, as well as for the navies of Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Japan. With options the contract has a potential value of nearly $1.2 billion.

Lockheed Martin will do the work in Manassas, Va., and Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by August 2018. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/rms.html, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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