GB2525893A - Detection system for underwater signals - Google Patents

Detection system for underwater signals Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2525893A
GB2525893A GB1408076.6A GB201408076A GB2525893A GB 2525893 A GB2525893 A GB 2525893A GB 201408076 A GB201408076 A GB 201408076A GB 2525893 A GB2525893 A GB 2525893A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
buoy
acoustic
signals
transmitter
buoys
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB1408076.6A
Other versions
GB201408076D0 (en
Inventor
Terence Ivan Mason
Original Assignee
Terence Ivan Mason
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Terence Ivan Mason filed Critical Terence Ivan Mason
Priority to GB1408076.6A priority Critical patent/GB2525893A/en
Publication of GB201408076D0 publication Critical patent/GB201408076D0/en
Publication of GB2525893A publication Critical patent/GB2525893A/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S5/00Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations
    • G01S5/18Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations using ultrasonic, sonic, or infrasonic waves
    • G01S5/20Position of source determined by a plurality of spaced direction-finders
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B22/00Buoys
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63CLAUNCHING, HAULING-OUT, OR DRY-DOCKING OF VESSELS; LIFE-SAVING IN WATER; EQUIPMENT FOR DWELLING OR WORKING UNDER WATER; MEANS FOR SALVAGING OR SEARCHING FOR UNDERWATER OBJECTS
    • B63C7/00Salvaging of disabled, stranded, or sunken vessels; Salvaging of vessel parts or furnishings, e.g. of safes; Salvaging of other underwater objects
    • B63C7/26Means for indicating the location of underwater objects, e.g. sunken vessels
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01SRADIO DIRECTION-FINDING; RADIO NAVIGATION; DETERMINING DISTANCE OR VELOCITY BY USE OF RADIO WAVES; LOCATING OR PRESENCE-DETECTING BY USE OF THE REFLECTION OR RERADIATION OF RADIO WAVES; ANALOGOUS ARRANGEMENTS USING OTHER WAVES
    • G01S5/00Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations
    • G01S5/18Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more direction or position line determinations; Position-fixing by co-ordinating two or more distance determinations using ultrasonic, sonic, or infrasonic waves
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B22/00Buoys
    • B63B2022/006Buoys specially adapted for measuring or watch purposes

Abstract

A buoy comprises at least one hydrophone 12, 14 to convert acoustic radiation received from an active acoustic transmitter into electronic signals, and an analysis package 16 to send messages to a remote receiver when triggered by electronic signals corresponding to anticipated acoustic signals from such a transmitter. The system can feature a global position system 24 (GPS) to determine the location of the buoy. The buoy can be programmed to identify specific acoustic signals remotely through a modem or locally through a control port. In use multiple buoys can be spaced apart according to the depth and acoustic transmissivity of the water. Three of the devices can be used to give an accurate location of the transmissions, which can be the pings from a downed aircrafts black box or people banging on the hull or fuselage of a submerged vessel or aircraft.

Description

Detection system for underwater signals [0001] This invention relates to a method and apparatus for detecting underwater acoustic signals and to an alerting system when underwater acoustic signals of interest are detected.
[0002] Recent losses of aircraft and ferries have indicated the need for a system rapidly to detect underwater acoustic signals and to alert would be rescuers of the presence of signals that are of relevance in their search for survivors and wreckage.
[0003] Existing systems are limited to dipping sonar-buoys with hydrophones or submersibles with hydrophones. The capital costs of aircraft or helicopters equipped with hydrophones or of submersibles similarly equipped means that searchers cannot search large areas of ocean at any one time, and therefore deployment is often limited to places where other information suggests that there is a probability of finding a target. In addition such equipment is often deployed one at a time, so that triangulation information to secure a fix on a potential target is absent, limiting the speed of response.
[0004] Acoustic signals of interest may come from an acoustic transmitter on an aircraft black box, trapped persons banging on the hull of a submerged or partially submerged vessel of aircraft.
[0005] The present invention provides a low cost identification and signalling system with individual detectors which may deployed in relatively large numbers over an expanse of sea. It thus provides a system whereby acoustic transmissions originating under water can be identified, triangulated and the source pinpointed with a high degree of accuracy.
[0006] According to the present invention in a first aspect a buoy comprises at least one hydrophone to convert received acoustic radiation from an active acoustic transmitter into electronic signals, and an analysis package to send messages to a remote receiver when triggered by electronic signals apparently corresponding to anticipated acoustic signals from such a transmitter.
[0007] According to a second aspect of the invention a method of locating an active underwater acoustic transmitter comprising deploying on a water mass one or more such buoys.
[0008] The invention provides an electronic buoy which can be tuned to detect acoustic transmissions of interest and to transmit a radio signal to a satellite, aircraft or ship when signals falling within the parameters given to the device are detected. In this way too the need for continual monitoring is obviated as transmission will only occur when a signal of interest is identified by the device. This can be transmitted immediately or downloaded subsequently. In many present system, the outputs of hydrophones need to be continuously monitored with the risk that a lapse of concentration on the part of the monitor leads to a vital signal being missed.
[0009] It is possible to have two types of device. A low cost one that can be deployed in large numbers just to find possible signals of interest, and more sophisticated specifically tuned devices to be deployed to the an area in to identify the direction from which the signal is coming. Three of the more sophisticated devices could be used to give an accurate location for the transmissions.
[0010] By virtue of sending and receiving signals via a satellite system which is being monitored remotely, say on land, the devices can be deployed from aircraft, helicopters ships and the like without the need for special equipment on board. This is quite unlike existing detection systems for the identification, for example of aircraft black boxes.
[0011] The acoustic signals are typically in the frequency range 100Hz to 1 MHz for active acoustic transmitters, say attached to aircraft black boxes, but to identify the presence of survivors of a sinking of a ship or an aircraft banging on the hull of the vessel concerned a much lower threshold is needed.
[0012] Received acoustic signals are converted by a hydrophone to electrical signals which are then processed by the circuits in an electronic package, using a combination of hardware and software, to determine whether a specified sought after sound is present. If it is, then measurements pertaining to the specific sound can be made. These may include the level, frequency and duration of the sound. A number of signal events may be saved for later communication, together with the time and the location of the buoy.
[0013] To provide accurate location and time of day the buoy is equipped with a Global Navigation Satellite System receiver, typically using the GPS network.
[0014] To communicate the results of the signal processing to the operator, the buoy is equipped with a satellite modem to send and receive short data messages, typically using the Iridium Short Burst Data Service. This route may also be used in reverse to change some operating feature.
[0015] Multiple hydrophones on a buoy can be used to provide bearing information for an acoustic source using established beam4orming techniques. Greater accuracy can be obtained by combining measurements mentioned above from several buoys spaced at suitable intervals.
[0016] Electrical power for the buoy is obtained from an internal battery pack. To permit a reasonable operating duration, the majority of the electrical circuits may be shut down most of the time, waking at pre-determined intervals.
[0017] The buoy contains sufficient signal processing ability to determine the likelihood of the specified signal being present. It is not necessary for the acoustic signals to be continuously monitored by a human operator.
[0018] The buoy communicates the results of its acoustic analysis via a satellite link. The results can be sent anywhere in the world. Many such buoys can be deployed, only those with useful results send back data.
[0019] By combining the results from several buoys it is possible to determine the location of the acoustic source.
[0020] The buoy can be configured or programmed prior to deployment by downloading the necessary settings either via a computer link or fitting a plug-in sub-unit.
[0021] At the end of a deployment, the buoy can be commanded to send its exact position to facilitate collection, or to place itself in an inert state.
[0022] In order that the invention may be more fully understood, the following description, by way of example only, refers to the accompanying drawing which shows a block diagram of an analysis system of a buoy according to the invention.
[0023] A buoy 10 has two hydrophones 12 and 14 to convert received acoustic waves into electronic signals which are fed to an electronic package 16.
(Although two hydrophones are illustrated in practice at least one is need and more than two can be used). The package can either be pre-programmed through the Control and Programming port 18, pre4itting of a module, or adjusted before deployment or by a remote signal through received though antenna 22 and the modem 20, to filter out all signals bar those at the specific frequency or frequency band of interest. In the case of a buoy being deployed to identify a specific black box the frequency setting will be very specific, on the other hand if it is to identify banging on the hull of a vessel by trapped survivors, the setting might be to a relatively broad band lowish frequencies.
[0024] Received acoustic signals are converted by the hydrophones 12 and 14 to electrical signals which are then processed by the circuits in the electronic package 16, using a combination of hardware and software, to determine whether a specified sought after sound is present. If it is, then measurements pertaining to the specific sound can be made. These may include the level, frequency and duration of the sound. A number of signal events may be saved for later communication, together with the time and the location of the buoy.
[0025] To provide accurate location and time of day the buoy is equipped with a Global Navigation Satellite System receiver 24, typically using the GPS network.
[0026] To communicate the results of the signal processing to the operator, the buoy is equipped with a satellite modem to send and receive shod data messages, typically using the Iridium Short Burst Data Service. This route may also be used in reverse to change some operating feature.
[0027] The multiple hydrophones (two 12 and 14 are shown but more could be used) are used to provide bearing information for an acoustic source using
S
established beam-forming techniques. Greater accuracy can be obtained by combining measurements mentioned above from several such buoys spaced at suitable intervals.
[0028] Electrical power for the buoy 10 is obtained from an internal battery pack 26. To permit a reasonable operating duration, the majority of the electrical circuits are shut down most of the time, waking at pre-determined intervals.
[0029] The buoy contains sufficient signal processing ability to determine the likelihood of the specified signal being present. It is not necessary for the acoustic signals to be continuously monitored by a human operator.
[0030] The buoy communicates the results of its acoustic analysis via a satellite link through the modem 20 and antenna 22. The results can be sent anywhere in the world. Many such buoys can be deployed, only those with useful results send back data.
[0031] By combining the results from several buoys it is possible to determine the more accurately the location of the acoustic source.
[0032] The buoy can be configured or programmed prior to deployment by downloading the necessary settings either via a computer link or fitting a plug-in sub-unit.
[0033] In relatively shallow water say down to l000m depth, on an initial search buoys according to the invention may deployed at 10Km intervals, if the depth increases or the frequency or the acoustic transmissivity of the water concerned is low, then the deployment interval will need to be reduced. One a potential "hit" is achieved then further buoys would be deployed closer to the origin of the sound to pin point its exact origin.
GB1408076.6A 2014-05-07 2014-05-07 Detection system for underwater signals Withdrawn GB2525893A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1408076.6A GB2525893A (en) 2014-05-07 2014-05-07 Detection system for underwater signals

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1408076.6A GB2525893A (en) 2014-05-07 2014-05-07 Detection system for underwater signals

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB201408076D0 GB201408076D0 (en) 2014-06-18
GB2525893A true GB2525893A (en) 2015-11-11

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Family Applications (1)

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GB1408076.6A Withdrawn GB2525893A (en) 2014-05-07 2014-05-07 Detection system for underwater signals

Country Status (1)

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GB (1) GB2525893A (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN107831507A (en) * 2017-10-24 2018-03-23 中国水产科学研究院渔业机械仪器研究所 A kind of fishing feelings track buoy satellite positioning theft protection installation
CN110286357A (en) * 2019-07-10 2019-09-27 中国电子科技集团公司第三十六研究所 A kind of target motion positions method based on Underwater Detection

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2783329A1 (en) * 1988-07-19 2000-03-17 Thomson Csf Releasable ultrasonic buoy for use in detection of submarines or other marine noise sources has means for processing the signals received in such a manner that only significant noise sources are transmitted to a central unit
GB2399169A (en) * 2003-02-06 2004-09-08 Reef Man Internat Ltd Detecting the location of an underwater explosion
US20090262600A1 (en) * 2007-03-26 2009-10-22 Railey Guy T Methods and apparatus for surveillance sonar systems
FR2952189A1 (en) * 2009-10-30 2011-05-06 Ixwaves Sarl Method for detecting and locating acoustic emission source immersed in wide geographical region during destruction of ATL2 aircraft to top of sea, involves receiving acoustic signal by sub-marine and exploitation of signals to locate source
FR2964750A1 (en) * 2010-09-09 2012-03-16 Inst Francais De Rech Pour L & Rsquo Expl De La Mer & Ndash Ifremer METHOD FOR AIDING THE LOCALIZATION OF SUBMERGED OBJECTS EMITTING AN ACOUSTIC SIGNAL
KR101281630B1 (en) * 2011-12-30 2013-07-03 엘아이지넥스원 주식회사 Apparatus for dectecting underwater target and method thereof

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2783329A1 (en) * 1988-07-19 2000-03-17 Thomson Csf Releasable ultrasonic buoy for use in detection of submarines or other marine noise sources has means for processing the signals received in such a manner that only significant noise sources are transmitted to a central unit
GB2399169A (en) * 2003-02-06 2004-09-08 Reef Man Internat Ltd Detecting the location of an underwater explosion
US20090262600A1 (en) * 2007-03-26 2009-10-22 Railey Guy T Methods and apparatus for surveillance sonar systems
FR2952189A1 (en) * 2009-10-30 2011-05-06 Ixwaves Sarl Method for detecting and locating acoustic emission source immersed in wide geographical region during destruction of ATL2 aircraft to top of sea, involves receiving acoustic signal by sub-marine and exploitation of signals to locate source
FR2964750A1 (en) * 2010-09-09 2012-03-16 Inst Francais De Rech Pour L & Rsquo Expl De La Mer & Ndash Ifremer METHOD FOR AIDING THE LOCALIZATION OF SUBMERGED OBJECTS EMITTING AN ACOUSTIC SIGNAL
KR101281630B1 (en) * 2011-12-30 2013-07-03 엘아이지넥스원 주식회사 Apparatus for dectecting underwater target and method thereof

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN107831507A (en) * 2017-10-24 2018-03-23 中国水产科学研究院渔业机械仪器研究所 A kind of fishing feelings track buoy satellite positioning theft protection installation
CN107831507B (en) * 2017-10-24 2020-05-15 中国水产科学研究院渔业机械仪器研究所 Fishing situation tracking buoy satellite positioning anti-theft device
CN110286357A (en) * 2019-07-10 2019-09-27 中国电子科技集团公司第三十六研究所 A kind of target motion positions method based on Underwater Detection
CN110286357B (en) * 2019-07-10 2021-07-09 中国电子科技集团公司第三十六研究所 Target motion positioning method based on underwater sound detection

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)