What Areté Does

Undersea

Areté’s maritime expertise doesn’t stop at the surface of the sea. our understanding of the complex and challenging undersea environment is robust. Areté specializes in non-acoustic detection of items of interest undersea. We are the commercial transition partner and integrator for the advanced sensor package (ASP) for the Mk 18 UUV. Additionally, Areté is a key contributor to the Submarine Security Program. Key customers include the U.S. Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Helicopter flying

Challenge

Traditionally, reconnaissance of seafloor or deep sea mines required several steps: send an aircraft such as a Fire Scout to retrieve information, bring the Fire Scout back to download its data, then neutralize the mine. Every second is critical in a battlefield or reconnaissance scenario. ALMDS gives the capability to perform reconnaissance, send data, and launch mine countermeasures at virtually the same time.

We discovered a way to manufacture a 3D streak tube imaging lidar (STIL) sensor that’s fast, accurate, and has a broad field of view.

We developed ALMDS, a sensor pod that sends data back to the command deck in real time. The helicopter-mounted ALMDS detects, classifies, and geo-tracks undersea moored sea mines in sea lanes and other navigable waters.

We delivered our ALMDS solution initially to Northrop Grumman as part of a larger Navy contract. However, we’re also adapting ALMDS to be part of a multi-spectral option that can locate mines on the sea floor or deep sea as well as in high-clutter environments such as surf and white caps, all at low size, weight, and power usage — still perfect for unmanned air systems such as Fire Scouts — because the modern battlespace requires faster decision making.

Challenge

The U.S. Navy has long needed accurate bathymetric and topographic mapping of waterways and seafloors, but the technology has been less than accurate.

We discovered a way to incorporate a pulsed laser fan beam using a streak tube imaging lidar (STIL) receiver that is extremely accurate.

We developed a light, compact package that requires low power and can be mounted on an aircraft’s undercarriage. For each laser pulse, PILLS maps out an image of objects within the fan beam. As the aircraft moves forward, the system maps out a three-dimensional image of objects along the flight path.

We delivered PILLS to the U.S. Navy. PILLS is a great example of how Areté considers all solutions, including a technology such as STIL that goes back to the 1960s, and combines them with modern science and engineering, still creating low-SWaP answers to significant sensing issues.