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Marine and Environment

Robust Co-Prime Sensing with Underwater Inflatable Passive Sonar Arrays

Led by Bing Ouyang, Ph.D.

Bing Ouyang

Bing Ouyang, Ph.D., joined HBOI/FAU as a Research Associate in 2009. He is one of the 40 recipients of prestigious 2013 Air Force Young Investigator Research Award. He has been PI and co-PI on several other grants and projects. His main research interests include novel compact underwater serial imaging system; underwater imaging lidar noise reduction and image enhancement and computer vision for underwater imaging systems. His 2011 SPIE paper was first reported application of compressive sensing in underwater laser imaging systems. He has a provisional patent application “MEMS Microdisplay Optical Imaging and Sensor System in Scattering Underwater Environment” filed jointly with Fraser Dalgleish, Ph.D., and Anni Vuorenkoski Ph.D. He is also applying for a patent on Compressive Sensing based imaging Lidar. Prior to joining HBOI, Ouyang was with Texas Instruments (TI) between 1996 and 2009. In 2002, he joined TI’s Digital Light Processing (DLP) group as an ASIC algorithm engineer, developing front end algorithm form DLP video processor. He was peer-elected to TI’s Member Group of Technical Staff. He has three patents on video source detection and semiconductor equipment data acquisition system (US Patent 7,825,990, 7,733,424 and 8,112,400) and four pending applications.


UDSN System The overarching goal of the proposed work is to develop a transformative approach for enabling a UUV based underwater deployable hydrophone sensor network (UDSN). The ability to rapidly deploy and construct the UDSN lead to many scientific and defense applications. Before the deployment, UDSN nodes will be packed as UDS capsules in the UUV payload bay. The capsules can then be deployed by the UUVs at pre-defined locations. An underwater inflatable co-prime sonar array (UICSA) system forms one UDSN node with the sensors located on the inflatable structures. Once all the UICSA packages morph into the final tube forms, the density of the UDSN sensor network is defined. One operational scenario is illustrated in Figure 1. An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) carries folded UDSN capsules and drops these on the sea floor at predefined distances based on the UDSN density requirements, the environmental conditions, and the platform velocity. Once the package lands on the seabed, the anchors can be deployed from the sealing ends and fold tie will be released. Then, the underwater pump starts to inflate the structure. The folded package element will eventually deform into a tube shape. The fully inflated structure is shown in the bottom left of Figure 1, the structure that is in the inflation process is in the lower-middle, and the folded package itself is presented in the bottom right section of Figure 1. The data measurements can be sent to a USV, e.g. WaveGlider, transacting around the region via acoustic communication (ACOM). The USV can then forward the data to the command center through a satellite link or an aerial platform.

The objective of the project aims at developing one UDSN node - to design and construct one co-prime array prototype and acquire data in a test tank environment to support the algorithm development effort. The outcome of this project should provide the foundation for future endeavors to investigate the UDSN signal processing algorithm development for large area surveillance in a challenging environment.

Under the supervision of HBOI faculty and research associate, the student will work on the construction of an underwater co-prime hydrophone array (UICSA) prototype. The subtasks to support this objective are as follows:

  • Component level electronic design. We will conduct functional baseline and requirements analysis, and detailed analyses of operational requirements will be completed. The analyses involve key subsystems functional requirements; for example, the source frequency is determined by compromising between the tank environment and the processing algorithm. A critical design review (CDR) will be conducted after the subsystem and component level design.

  • Construct and in-water testing of each component; assembling the UICSA system and the active source. Following CDR, the subsystems such as the housings for hydrophone and data logger, and the electronic control will be fabricated at HBOI. Each subsystem will be first tested in the underwater environment in the HBOI test tank individually. The datasets will be acquired under different conditions using the fully constructed prototype to support the algorithm development.