Leonardo's new ULISSES acoustic sensor system has completed live sea trial off the coast of Italy, meaning that 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 Thursday.
ULISSES (Ultra-LIght SonicS Enhanced System) is an integrated acoustic sensor system designed to ‘listen’ for hostile submarines and determine their locations. Uniquely in the market, ULISSES 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.
Leonardo announced the development of the acoustic system, in partnership with Ultra Electronics (providing miniaturised sonobuoys and multistatic technology) and L3 Technologies (providing dipping sonar), at the 2018 Farnborough Air Show.
The recent sea trials began with Leonardo deploying various types of Ultra Electronics supplied 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.
Since its launch last year, ULISSES 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. ULISSES 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.