High Fidelity Data Compression for Acoustic Arrays

Reference#: P02039

Passive sonar systems are used to gather critical sonar data from unmanned buoys, underwater vehicles, sensors towed from a ship or other advanced deployable sonar data collection systems. Sharing of data from these sensors is often key to a successful naval operation, however data transfer is very difficult due to the large volume of information that needs to be transmitted in a short amount of time. Data compression has become an essential part in the information gathering process and although existing compression algorithms are useful, none have been designed specifically for sonar applications and none have reached the compression ratio necessary for full efficacy.

Researchers in The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory's National Security Technology Department have now developed a Passive Sonar Compression Algorithm (PSCA), which uses signal analysis and synthesis to significantly compress passive sonar acoustic information for communication over a limited bandwidth communication channel. The algorithm is designed to allow the reconstructed signal to be played into a standard passive sonar system with no alteration to the existing signal or information processing in the system. This is the most flexible implementation of the compression and allows the easiest insertion into existing systems.

JHU/APL engineers have developed a working prototype for the compression process. Compression is a primary enabler for sonar data sharing between ships, submarines, autonomous sensors, and shore sites.

While developed specifically for sonar applications the technique has applicability to a wide range of acoustic sensor systems such as acoustic vehicle is monitoring systems, acoustic battlefield sensors and machine monitoring systems. Signal compression used in these types of systems can significantly expand system connectivity and allow worldwide signal transmission of signals using commercial satellite links.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 8254210 issued.

Mr. E. Chalfin
Phone: (443) 778-7473

Additional References:

Link to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office