WASHINGTON, 14 April 2011. Raytheon Company's DeepSiren underwater acoustic communication system bridged a communications capability gap for submarines operating beneath the Arctic ice. It provided on-demand tactical mission and emergency response information during the U.S. Navy's ICEX 2011 exercise, conducted by the Arctic Submarine Laboratory.
"Raytheon DeepSiren enables operational commanders anywhere in the world to quickly send tactical messages to a submarine operating at speed and depth--even under Arctic ice," says Steve Moynahan, senior engineer, Raytheon Network Centric Systems (NCS), who deployed with DeepSiren to support the exercise. "This addresses one of the most significant shortfalls in submarine communications to provide mission-critical information while the vessel is submerged."
At one point in the exercise, the use of DeepSiren took a real-world turn when the USS New Hampshire, submerged beneath a thick ice cover, needed to quickly find a location to surface and evacuate a sailor stricken with appendicitis. "DeepSiren played a key role in facilitating the evacuation of the sick sailor and was heavily used during the exercise," explains U.S. Navy Capt. Rhett Jaehn, deputy director of operations, Commander, Submarine Force.
Raytheon DeepSiren operates somewhat like a text messaging system, providing submarines with mission essential and tactical information in a short message format.
"The DeepSiren solution addresses a very significant gap in the broad spectrum of underwater communications capabilities," says Brian McKeon, vice president, Raytheon NCS' Integrated Communications Systems. "The system has been well designed, tested, and demonstrated to work reliably over a vast range of oceanographic conditions. DeepSiren employs mature technology rated at TRL (technology readiness level) 8, and it can easily transition into production to support delivery of qualified hardware within months of a purchase order."
At the start of ICEX, the Raytheon system facilitated the rendezvous of participating submarines with a camp established on the ice surface 150 nautical miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. DeepSiren transmissions from Ice Camp were received by two submarines.
"Its acoustic transmissions are very much lower in power than typical sonar signals, making it both environmentally friendly and enabling it to operate without causing harmful interference to other acoustic sensor systems," notes Trevor Barron, program technical director, Raytheon NCS. "We were able to very quickly adapt the DeepSiren software-defined acoustic modem to accommodate the unique requirements of the Arctic Submarine Laboratory."