Friday, 27 June 2014

New Technologies, New Users

Nearly 80 exhibitors have committed to UDT 2014, further enhancing this event’s reputation as the showcase for underwater innovation. Among them, Seebyte (a Bluefin Robotics subsidiary) presented its SeeTrack Military V4 product. Seebyte, a leader in the development of smart software for underwater vehicles, sensors, and systems in both the military and oil & gas sectors, currently has 19 Navies utilising its SeeTrack Military software. The product is classed as a leading technological tool used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and clearance divers around the world to successfully manage their off-board assets in dangerous and demanding missions. According to the company, improved capabilities of Military V4 include the ability to concurrently plan and monitor multiple missions for multiple assets from a single shared user interface. It also allows a user to post-process and store the data in a shared database and visualise it in both GIS and sensor specific displays. The software is built using a Service Orientated Architecture, providing users a simple software development kit. Operators are able to operate and integrate new AUV, diver handheld systems, ROV, and towfish sonars using a common interface.
Royal Netherlands Navy SOF personnel also uses the SeeTrack Military mission planning, monitoring, and post-mission analysis tool from Seebyte, Alastair Cormack said to NAVAL FORCES in Liverpool. This commercially available solution has been developed for rapid on-site analysis and fusion of sensor data and is employed for managing their off-board assets in dangerous mission scenarios. According to Lieutenant Colonel Guido Fretz, Representative of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, SeeTrack Military is a very effective package available to the service to help run its mine countermeasures and harbor protection missions. Supported platforms include ROV/AUV from Bluefin Robotics, Teledyne Gavia/Teledyne RDI, OceanServer, Shark Marine Technologies, Hydroid Inc. (REMUS), and VideoRay. Employing crypto technology from the banking sector, SeeTrack Military ensures safe data transmission throughout the system.
ATLAS Elektronik Group and Advanced Lithium Systems Europe (ALSE) launched a new lithium ion phosphate rechargeable exercise battery that can be used with all of the company’s electrical torpedo weapons and adapted for use with any other electrically propelled heavyweight torpedo. With this solution, the costs of exercise shots with underwater weapons can be significantly reduced. The new battery offers more than five times the service life and can be recharged 20 times as often as legacy batteries. Both industry partners have succeeded in passing all tests based on the demanding safety standards of the German Navy needed to achieve certification and clearance for use on submarines of their new rechargeable battery. This was achieved by a deliberate choice for the latest lithium ion type battery chemistry available (lithium ion phosphate), and a unique dedicated battery cell design by ALSE. ATLAS Elektronik’s Senior Sales Manager Thorsten Bochentin said that the professionalism of the group helped the lithium ion phosphate rechargeable exercise battery to pass the STANAG and VG qualification tests with official certification to follow.
Copper Alloys showcased its advanced Elite Marine Alloys range of copper-nickel (Cu-Ni) alloys, which offer a unique blend of outstanding resistance to seawater corrosion combined with a spectrum of unparalleled high-mechanical properties to satisfy various demanding applications.
DSIT from Israel announced the addition of the AquaShield Extended Range (ER) Swimmer Detection Sonar (SDS) to its product line. The product was created in response to the technology advances associated with Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDV), Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPV), and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV). All of the above are much faster than the standard combat diver, significantly reducing the response time available when using conventional diver detection sonar systems.
Saab received orders from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) over the construction and production plans for the next-generation submarine for the Royal Swedish Navy. Additionally, the company will conduct a mid-live update of two “Gotland” class submarines in service with the Navy. Delivery of the work that will be carried out within Saab’s business area Security and Defence Solutions is expected to be in 2014/2015. Saab and the FMV have also signed a Letter of Intent covering the Swedish Armed Forces’ underwater capability for the period 2015-2024, consisting of support, development, design, and construction of the submarines plus other undersea systems. In Liverpool, Saab also announced that the Polish Navy selected its DOUBLE EAGLE mine-countermeasure underwater vehicle for its KORMORAN II mine-countermeasures vessels. DOUBLE EAGLE, available in MkII, MkIII, and SAROV variants, is employed by naval fleets around the globe on-board many types of surface ships. The new generation of the DOUBLE EAGLE MCM underwater vehicle is able to operate both as a battery powered AUV and a as a conventional tethered ROV. As a completely new feature, the AUV will be able to find and by automatic dock with the tether while still in the water. This will enable download of collected data and recharge of batteries without any risky launch and recovery operations. In Liverpool, Saab also spoke about its MuMNS (Multi-Shot Mine Neutralisation System) next-generation mine disposal vehicle that can be employed against the complete range of underwater threats, including ground, moored, floating, and drifting mines, depth charges, torpedoes, as well as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The underwater vehicle can be launched from any surface craft, such as an USV, by means of an appropriate launch and recovery system (LARS), Saab told NAVAL FORCES. If a target is identified as a mine-like object by the vehicle’s on-board camera, a BALLISTA disruptor is moved forward into the engagement position, using an attachment device that is automatically released by the vehicle.
MEDAV GmbH, a Saab Defence and Security subsidiary, promotes COMMS/ESM and COMINT solutions for submarine applications. Representing compact and complete systems through a partnership with Aeromaritime Systembau GmbH, the solutions enable submerged platforms to undertake reconnaissance and surveillance of hostile electromagnetic emissions. Since the latter company’s AT/4125 DF communications antenna can be selected as a COMINT and COMMS/ESM antenna, smart capabilities are available for many types of submarine designs to be upgraded within submarine refit programmes. Wideband technology employed for DF and intercept enables them for the surveillance and interception of many targets/emitters simultaneously. The frequency range varies from 0.1-400MHz (HF/VUHF) in the CE-4125 COMINT antenna and 0.1-3,000MHz (HF/VUHF) in the CRS-8100 COMMS/ESM COMINT antenna. The solutions benefit from a software-orientated architecture, allowing automated and interactive signal analysis and online/offline capabilities.
As there is a strong trend towards smaller, lighter, power-efficient AUV and ROV, engineers at EvoLogics GmbH developed the S2C M series of underwater acoustic modems, offering the full benefits of the company’s patented S2C (Sweep-Spread Carrier) communications technology in a light and compact design. In Liverpool, the Berlin-based company promoted SONOBOT, an autonomous USV providing a smart lightweight solution for hydrographic surveys and other search and recovery, security, and monitoring applications in harbours/ports and inland waters. The vehicle is a small and simple platform equipped with a Deep Vision sidescan sonar that features a resolution of 2cm for geo-referenced seafloor imaging. Additionally, the system comprises a broadband, single-beam (80-120kHz) echosounder utilising S2C broadband communications technology for accurate depth measurements, a camera for geo-referenced images and navigation in blind areas, differential GPS (DGPS) with an accuracy of ±4cm (horizontal) and ±2cm (vertical), as well as WLAN offering a data rate up to 108MB/s. According to EvoLogics, WLAN range is quoted at up to 2,000m. Most of the equipment was pre-selected among COTS products to best fit the platform.

Saab's DOUBLE EAGLE system is a proven, low risk, and extremely efficient mine countermeasures underwater vehicle in service with naval fleets in the Baltic Sea, in the North Sea, and around the world.
(Photo: Courtesy of Saab Group)

Unmanned Vehicles are the Future of Undersea Defence and Security

Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) 2014, which took place at ACC Liverpool from 10-12 June 2014, was the glue putting together leading experts from many countries that are prominent in the undersea defence and security sectors. Presenters and attendees discussed crucial strategic issues, such as evolving dynamics in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Rim regions, as well as important developments in undersea safety and environmental protection. The game-changing impact that Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV) will have on subsea defence and security has been highlighted by a range of presentations.
A major driver for development in this sector is the need for autonomous vehicles that are suitable for both civil and military applications. A Long Endurance Marine Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LEMUSV) is being developed by Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV) Ltd. under the UK Government-backed Small Business Research Initiative. ASV will undertake the detailed production design, build, commissioning, and sea trials of a fully operational, open ocean going C-ENDURO vessel, designed for deployment at sea for periods of up to three months in all-weather conditions and sea states. Vince Dobbin, Head of Development at ASV, discussed the C-ENDURO whose three pillar energy system provides a flexible and fault tolerant solution to energy supply. Deploying AUV from surface vessels presents challenges in terms of visibility, as well as dependence on prevailing sea conditions.
Thomas Petersson, Product Manager at Saab, informed on the experiences and possibilities related to the operation of AUV and SubROV from submarines. An AUV so deployed could perform a diversity of roles, including mine reconnaissance, surveillance, remote communications, and diversion. The company has developed a recovery concept based on using a small submarine-operated ROV for the critical stage of retrieving and pushing the AUV back into an empty heavyweight torpedo tube. This concept has been tested and proven to work well in cooperation with submarine units from the Royal Swedish Navy, according to Thomas Petersson.
AUV launch and recovery was also the subject of a paper given by Axel Panoch, Project Manager at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). The company is developing systems that enable submarines to launch and recover AUV through standard 21-in weapon tubes or out of the casing.
The attendance of Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology, highlighted the importance of this sector both from a UK point of view and globally. The Minister praised the innovation demonstrated by the subsea industry and said there was significant potential for the exploitation of commercial markets for these technologies.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A World View on Gdańsk

Arguably, Poland is THE keystone in the defence and security of the Baltic Region. This is especially significant when considering recent Russian expansionism, including claims being made on Central European land and sea territories. This is just one of several reasons why NATO nations and others around the world are viewing Poland with great interest. Another set of issues surround Poland's announcement of continued force modernistation programmes, purchasing processes, and the Polish defence industry's stop-and-start approach to defence exports.
The Balt-Military Expo (biannual) taking place in Gdańsk this week addresses regional and national security issues, ranging from protection of critical infrastructures and delivery of 'blue-light' services to the latest naval sonar technologies and ship building/MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) services. The adjoining conferences and exposition deliver insights and information in a way that make the Baltic region MORE than "Just the Baltic Region."
This week, the NAVAL FORCES  and MILITARY TECHNOLOGY blogs will feature detailed reports on the Balt Military Expo and the innovations and issues discussed here. We will also provide updates from MAST Eurasia (Istanbul) and UDT 2014 (Liverpool), with vox populi and human interest elements from these events that highlight NAVAL FORCES' multi-role mission within the global naval defence and maritime security community.

Stephen Elliott, Esq., Co-Publisher NAVAL FORCES (left) speaks with Vice Admiral Ryszard Szczepan Demczuk (centre), Inspector for the Polish Navy General Command of the Polish Armed Forces, and Marek Buczkowski (right), Project Director at Miedzynarodowe Targi Gdańskie SA (Gdańsk International Fair Company), at the stand of Mönch Publishing Group in Gdańsk.


Friday, 6 June 2014

US Navy Awards AGS $10.4 M For Nationwide Cloud-Based VoIP 911 Call Routing Solution

AT&T Government Solutions (AGS), a division of AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and the unit within AT&T that serves a wide range of federal agencies, today announced it has been awarded a $10.4M contract by the U.S. Navy to continue to provide AT&T's cloud-based VoIP enterprise 911 routing and call handling solutions to Navy facilities nationwide.

The network AT&T has deployed for the Navy is underpinned by four geographically diverse AT&T Data Centers (ADCs) providing a resilient, reliable network backbone and full operational redundancy.  In total, 61 call taker workstations have been deployed at five Regional Dispatch Centers (RDCs) and three "hybrid" Local Dispatch Centers to receive 911 calls.  In addition, AT&T's solution supports future migration to enhanced 911 or Next Generation 911 services.

Kay Kapoor, President, AT&T Government Solutions said: "The AT&T 911 platform enables seamless site integration within current Navy infrastructure and places the Navy in a pre-eminent place in addressing the 911 enhancements specified in the Ft. Hood After Action report."

Underwater Technology Seminars (UTS) From Teledyne Reson Announced

UTS14, taking place September 16-18 in Hamburg, Germany and October 7-9 in Boston, Massachusetts. This year’s theme is: “Hydrography in Port & Harbors and Inland Waters as well as Dredge Guidance and Construction Support”.

Mr Kim Lehmann, President, Teledyne RESON & Teledyne Marine Acoustic Imaging Group said: "We have invited the best industry experts to share and present their experiences and results at the paper sessions. During the classroom training and live demo workshops, you will have an up-close experience with the latest software packages as well as in-depth training in our SeaBat FP4 features and range of shallow water echosounder and sonar systems. 

"We welcome you to provide input to our newsletter "A Sharper View". If you have a particular subject that you would like us to address, please email us at"

Teledyne BlueView Expands the M Series Family with M900-2250-130

Teledyne BlueView has released the M900-2250-130 in both standard 1000m depth rating and 4000m depth rating. The M900-2250-130 includes the third generation electronics package called ‘S3’ electronics
Video paper: Hydrographic case studies from Port of London 
This presentation gives you an inside view of the work of Port of London Hydrographic Service. The presentation focuses on marine structure inspections surveys using combined Lidar and Multi-beam systems. 

ATLAS ELEKTRONIK and DLR Engage in a Strategic Partnership for Maritime Safety and Security

ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH has signed a cooperation agreement with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with the goal of collaborating closely in the field of maritime safety in the future. In addition to fundamental research work, the aim is also to conduct joint technology demonstrations to help end users, such as the Federal Police Sea, fulfil their future missions even more effectively.

Signing of the cooperation agreement between DLR and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK (from left to right: Professor Dr. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Uwe Beckmeyer, MdB, Volker Paltzo). 
“This cooperation agreement lays the cornerstone for the future collaboration between DLR and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH in the field of maritime safety,” said Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Executive Board of DLR. 

 Volker Paltzo, Speaker of the Management Board of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH, added: “An intensified cooperation between DLR and AT-LAS is important and meaningful with a view to taking the next major steps in the sphere of maritime safety. Together, taking a holistic approach, we will develop and advance the available competencies and technologies, and derive standards for applications below and above the water surface as well as on land and in the air.” 

In a joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and entitled “Real-Time Services for Maritime Security” (EMSec), which belongs to the DLR programme “Research and Development for Maritime Security and Related Real-Time Services” and started in 2013, DLR and AT-LAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH are already collaborating as joint project partners, inter alia to provide complex maritime situation reports in unprecedented clarity and detail, and with better data and real-time availability. Moreover, research is being conducted on improving the protection of maritime navigation and communication assets. 

“The key topics defined within the scope of the cooperation agreement ex-tend far beyond the aspects addressed in the joint project EMSec,” explained Dr. Dennis Göge, Programme Coordinator Defence & Security Research at DLR. “For example, we will blend the satellite-based methods developed by DLR in synergy with the sonar systems manufactured by ATLAS EL-EKTRONIK, so as to allow the generation of high-resolution models of the seafloor topography. This will enhance the safety of shipping considerably,” he added. In addition to the topics already mentioned, the partners will also cooperate in the development of a man-machine system (MMS) aimed at providing real-time services for maritime safety and security. 

The developments will be advanced synergetically by several DLR institutes acting in concert with ATLAS ELEKTRONIK. Airborne and satellite-based information products will be provided by DLR. Based on this, the optimum contextual representation will be developed by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK. The spectrum ranges from the multi-touch controls of a situation picture (Microsoft Surface Table) up to ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System) integration for improved visibility and perception of the information on board a ship. In addition, the cooperation will also involve research into the integration of optical camera systems and satellite data into the ECDIS. For this, DLR is developing novel multispectral camera systems for gathering information products. Satellite missions, such as the DLR technology test carrier TET and the fire detection satellite-duo Fire BIRD, will yield new evaluation methods. Both land-based applications (e.g. digital terrain models, person detection) or oceanographic applications (ship detection, ship classification, submarine detection) may be considered in this connection. 

The DLR research association “Research and Development for Maritime Security and Related Real-Time Services” was initiated on the basis of a resolution passed by the German Bundestag Budget Committee in 2011, and established under the direction of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, with the aim of developing new technologies for improving maritime safety and security in cooperation with partners of the industry-led network MARISSA. The strategic cooperation between DLR and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK goes beyond this original concept. 

This was emphasized again by the Maritime Coordinator of the German Federal Government and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Uwe Beckmeyer: “Research projects between industry and science are becoming increasingly more important. This also applies to the bilateral research cooperation activities of DLR with companies in the maritime industry and especially to the DLR research association “Maritime Security”. Here DLR is able to apply its special competencies in aerospace science and engineering in the development of new technologies for the maritime industry. Such joint research projects play a role in implementing promising ideas in a goal-oriented manner. This strengthens the innovation competence within Germany and nourishes our economy.”