“Sediment Volume Search Sonar Development" by Dr. Daniel Brown
This project’s goal was to improve buried, unexploded ordnance detection and classification by designing, constructing and testing a sensor system that is deployed from a shallow-water surface vessel. The Sediment Volume Search Sonar sensor system produces a novel form of three-dimensional synthetic aperture sonar imagery of surficial and buried unexploded ordnance. The sensor’s hardware design is based in part upon data created during a modeling and simulation collaboration with the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington. This collaboration produced synthetic sensor data where the sensor/environment/target space could be modified to explore the expected operating conditions. The simulated data were also used to adapt a set of existing signal processing algorithms for three-dimensional acoustic imagery. Recently, the Sediment Volume Search Sonar was tested at a trial site in the Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir near Howard, Pennsylvania. Initial results from field testing indicate that the Sediment Volume Search Sonar is a promising technology for detecting and locating buried ordnance in shallow water. The sensor is particularly suited for use in water depths less than 3 meters, and provides sufficient detection and classification of ordnance in water less than 5 meters deep.
Dr. Daniel Brown is a research and development engineer at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include synthetic aperture sonar signal processing, sonar system performance modeling, acoustic navigation, and coherence of scattering from random rough surfaces. Prior to working at ARL, he was a scientist in the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Panama City, Florida, where his work focused on development of signal processing algorithms for synthetic aperture sonars systems. While at NSWC, he was a co-recipient of the Navy’s Scientist and Engineer of the Year Award in 2007 for his work on the first demonstration of embedded, real-time, signal processing for synthetic aperture sonar systems. Dr. Brown received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Rhodes College, a master’s degree in physics from the University of Mississippi, and a doctoral degree in acoustics from the Pennsylvania State University.