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Bistatic sonar using sonar transmitters aboard a UUV and sonar
receivers aboard nearby attack submarines, however, has the potential
to gain the best of both worlds.
As long as attack submarine crews have precise knowledge of the position of the pinging
UUV, they can detect the presence of enemy submarines based
on sonar sound returns, and track
their movements with accuracy.
Moreover, attack submarines can
keep their locations secret — if the
enemy submarines don’t inadvertently receive acoustic signal
returns from the attack submarines.
The DARPA MOCCA program
seeks to develop active sonar solutions that will mitigate the limits
of passive submarine sonar sensors, researchers say. The objective is to achieve significant stand-off detection and tracking range
by using an active sonar projector
deployed offboard a submarine and
onboard a UUV.
The submarine will need the
ability to coordinate the operational
functions of the supporting UUV.
Thus, the program must demonstrate reliable clandestine communications between the host submarine and supporting UUV without
The program is asking BAE
Systems and Applied Physical
Sciences to develop compact active
sonar sources, signal processing,
and secure undersea communications technology for an offboard
UUV in support of ASW.
The first phase will last for
15 months and will involve pre-
liminary designs for innovative
sonar and communications con-
cepts, as well as subsystem pro-
totype demonstrations to validate
The MOCCA program has two
key technical challenges: an active
sonar pinger small enough for
UUVs, as well as signal process-
ing, and a secure communications
link to enable the host subma-
rine to control the UUV at signifi-