PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experts needed an affordable sonobuoy test, development, and evaluation system for airborne submarine hunting. They found their solution from the RDA Inc. segment of Sentient Digital Inc. in Doylestown, Pa.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced their intention last Wednesday to ask RDA to build the Low-Cost Acoustic Processor (LCAP) engineering tool, and support ASW engineering development and test.
The LCAP is a roll-on/roll-off ASW acoustic test and measurement system that operates aboard the Navy P-8A Poseidon ASW and maritime patrol aircraft. The value of the upcoming contract to RDI has yet to be negotiated.
The LCAP helps Navy and industry ASW experts test design approaches to multi-static active coherent systems and enhancements; multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) ASW signal processing; acoustic communications; investigate new capabilities for the AN/SSQ-101 and the AN/SSQ-125 sonobuoys; concurrent processing of active and passive sonobuoys; new operator machine interface designs; undersea source and receiver sonobuoy array modifications; and related digital signal processing.
RDI will upgrade LCAP hardware, software, and firmware; update software-defined sonobuoy receivers; and install LCAP onto P-8 aircraft. The LCAP engineering tool also will support airborne ASW testing and development.
LCAP is a sonobuoy test system that records command, control, and acoustic processing of legacy and developmental sonobuoys, and helps with at-sea and in-flight ASW research and development by enabling engineers and operators to interpret results, identify problems, and adjust test plans.
The system has provided test and evaluation of the Navy's AN/SSQ-101 and AN/SSQ-77C air deployed active receiver (ADAR) sonobuoys; and the SSQ-53 high-gain array and extended-range passive directional low frequency analyze and record (DIFAR).
LCAP is a PC-based architecture for rapid development, low cost, and easy upgrades, and can command, record, and process current and experimental sonobuoys in the Navy’s inventory.