Original Date: 05/23/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Transportable Ranges
Performance testing of Navy weapon systems, as well as fleet and mine warfare training, can benefit greatly from the availability of accurate three-dimensional underwater tracking ranges in shallow water conditions. Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport developed shallow water tracking techniques in the 1970s at its Quinault site of the Northwest Range as part of an effort to address the Navy's threat of littoral or shallow water engagements. Recent shallow water applications at Keyport have focused on transportable temporary tracking ranges (TTRs). These TTRs can be quickly set up in a variety of ocean and inland littoral water sites. Technical improvements and innovations have greatly reduced the size and the weight of earlier temporary range approaches, thus allowing the new TTRs to be easily transported and deployed in remote site applications.
A basic TTR uses three or more lightweight tracking sensor assemblies (hydrophones). Each sensor and its cable can be deployed from a small boat in about an hour. The sensors receive coded signals from pingers, carried by the objects being tracked, which are produced by a tracking and display center. The tracking and range control center - also available in a mobile configuration - can be installed in a van, craft, or barge. A basic TTR consisting of four tracking hydrophones can provide an underwater tracking area coverage of 20 square nautical miles and can easily be installed in water depths of 10 feet to 750 feet. It is well suited for shallow, reverbant acoustic environments.
The TTR is a complete range system. It provides tracking of underwater objects, and can also track surface and air targets using the Global Positioning System, with positions radio-telemetered to the tracking center. The TTR includes a range communications system and a sound velocity profiling system.
Keyport has developed and applied a viable resource to address the Navy's littoral water threat. It has proven that the testing and evaluation of modern weapons can be conducted in realistic environments anywhere in the world. With the advent of TTRs, Keyport has shown that shallow water detection and testing can be done at a much lower cost and in a timely manner.
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