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A new acoustic sensor completes trials. The ULISSES (Ultra-LIght SonicS Enhanced System) acoustic sensor system has completed live sea trial off the coast of Italy. Developed by Leonardo, ULISSES is an integrated acoustic sensor system designed to ‘listen’ for hostile submarines and determine their locations. 

Uniquely in the market, this system incorporates ‘multistatic’ functionality, where the processor collects and exploits data from up to 64 distributed sonobuoys or dipping sonar sensors, which are processed in parallel. It then uses the multiple sources of information to triangulate the location of potentially hostile vessels, according to

Developed in partnership with Ultra Electronics and L3 Technologies, the system’s recent sea trials began with Leonardo deploying various types of sonobuoys, including some with GPS, from a ship. The ULISSES processor was then used to quickly and accurately locate a number of simulated under-sea targets, automatically marking their coordinates on a map on the operator’s workstation.

The system has generated interest due to its light weight (< 20 kg including its processor, transmitter, receiver and recorder), which makes it suitable for even very small unmanned aircraft and helicopters. 

It is also ideal for the retrofit market, where it can be affordably installed in place of an existing sonics system, reducing the overall weight.

Other advantages include the ability to draw on a range of sensor inputs including GPS-enabled sonobuoys, active and passive sonobuoys and dipping sonar. Designed for ease of use and reduced operator workload, ULISSES can provide automatic tracking and alerts, provide video up to full HD quality and can control sonobuoys remotely using CFS (Command Function System) commands.

 Launched last year, the system’s development is on track for completion by the end of 2019. Production will now take place in 2020 for deliveries the same year, the company said in a statement.