ISL News 2008

 

Information Systems Laboratories Supplies Sonar System for Royal Netherlands Navy Submarines

October 11, 2008
Information Systems Laboratories, Inc. (ISL) has been awarded a $7.6M contract from L-3 Communications, ELAC Nautik to provide modern Acoustic Intercept and Frequency Analysis Sonar systems for four Royal Netherlands Navy Walrus class submarines. The prime contract is with the Royal Netherlands Defense Material Organization (DMO). The goal of this extensive modernization is to keep this submarine class on duty until 2030. The majority of this work will be performed by ISL’s Systems Engineering and Integration operation at their San Diego, California facility and is scheduled for completion in 2012.

“This contract further demonstrates ISL’s capabilities in acoustic signal processing research and development,” said Richard Miller, President and CEO of ISL. “We are pleased to be working with both ELAC and the Royal Netherlands government to implement this important step in their navy’s combat readiness.”

The Acoustic Intercept and Frequency Analysis sonar systems developed and produced by ISL, provide the submarine crew with capability to detect and classify active sonars, weapons and other potential acoustic threat signals in order to make rapid tactical decisions in a high density acoustic threat/target environment.  The frequency response of the system covers all ASW sonars, ASW weapons, side scan sonars, underwater communications, diver sonars and fish finding sonars. The system also supports detailed passive acoustic analysis and recording of signals from the various passive sonar arrays and sensors on the submarine.

Scripps Institute of Oceanography and ISL Work Together in Detecting Undersea Oil Deposits

June 24, 2008
Information Systems Laboratories (ISL) and Scripps Institute of Oceanography have successfully completed the first phase of a project to more quickly detect areas of the ocean floor that are likely sites of oil and natural gas deposits. The recent tests, completed off the coast of San Diego near San Clemente Island, were able to measure subtle changes in gravity from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) maneuvering in 3,000 feet of water just above the ocean floor. The force of gravity is known to vary slightly over different areas of the Earth, mainly depending on the density of the rock formations beneath each location.

Oil companies have long known that salt domes on the ocean floor are likely sites of petroleum deposits, but finding such domes, especially in deeper water, has been an arduous task involving seismic sensing and gravity measurement, or gravimetry. The AUV gravimeter technology, developed with funding from a number of oil exploration firms, is thought to be the first demonstration of measuring minute changes in gravitational force from an AUV, rather than a fixed platform. This could allow relatively large areas of deep water to be surveyed more quickly than is currently possible in the search for oil deposits.

“Higher oil prices have given oil companies a great incentive to find new oil fields in deep water environments, and this technology is a major step in aiding that effort,” said Richard Miller, President and CEO of ISL. “We still have more work to do, but the preliminary results of our first field tests are quite encouraging.”

Salt domes indicate likely hydrocarbon deposits and can be detected by measuring the change in gravity above the salt dome as compared to adjoining areas. This technique, first developed in the 1930s, is generally used from surface ships where the gravimeter or gradiometer is required to be as stationary as possible. Most of the refinements in the technology that have occurred in recent years have involved either designing shipboard platforms that would not move despite the ship bobbing in the waves, or using complex calculations to remove the effect of such bobbing from the final measurement.  A more serious drawback is the fact that the ability to see changes in gravity falls off exponentially with distance from the sea floor, making surface ship gravity measurements through thousands of feet of water very difficult.

Scientists at ISL and Scripps Institute of Oceanography developed a method of inserting the gravimeter inside an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) the size and shape of a torpedo and then, using remote control, sending the AUV down close to the sea bottom. At this level, the gravimeter is not affected by surface waves and is close enough to the sea bottom to obtain accurate measurements. In the tests offshore San Diego, the AUV went back and forth across a deep sedimentary basin, measuring the changes in gravity. Although the AUV motion is relatively smooth, the forward motion of the AUV and its up-tilt or down-tilt affect the gravimeter slightly, so this motion had to be carefully monitored and the readings slightly adjusted to make up for the distortion.

ISL is working with its oil exploration clients on additional research to confirm the results of the first phase of testing.

Information Systems Laboratories Improves Intercept and Analysis System on Swedish Submarines

June 2, 2008
Information Systems Laboratories (ISL) has recently completed a $1 Million contract to modify the software and hardware of the sonar Intercept and Analysis (IntAna) systems currently in operation on Royal Swedish Navy submarines.

The work, performed by ISL’s Systems Engineering and Integration Division (SEID), is being done under subcontract to Saab AB of Sweden, which is installing a new Combat Management System (CMS) on the Royal Swedish Navy (RSN) submarines.

“This project further demonstrates ISL’s capabilities in acoustic signal processing research and development,” said Richard Miller, President and CEO of ISL. “We are pleased to be working with both Saab and the Swedish government to implement this important step in their navy’s combat readiness.”

The ISL system upgrade will utilize client/server technologies that allow the IntAna processing, analysis, and display functions to be integrated into modern CMS consoles to be installed on these RSN submarines. The upgrade will improve system accessibility and the ability to share network resources and information with other ship systems.

The IntAna system, originally developed and produced by ISL in 2000, provides the submarine crew with capability to detect and classify active sonars, weapons and other potential acoustic threat signals in order to make rapid tactical decisions in a high density acoustic threat/target environment. The frequency response of the system covers all ASW sonars, ASW weapons, side scan sonars, underwater communications, diver sonars and fish finding sonars. The system also supports detailed passive acoustic analysis and recording of signals from the various passive sonar arrays and sensors on the submarine.