Taking advantage of the new Certus machine to machine (M2M) data service Iridium is initiating this year, McQ Inc.’s SonoWatch™ is an autonomous, acoustic lookout system that detects, identifies and determines the navigation meaning of acoustic signals, which provide autonomous collision avoidance to both unmanned and manned watercraft.
McQ is providing SonoWatch to a couple of prime contracts for use in an unmanned surface vessel (USV) for a Department of Defense customer. SonoWatch is compact, sealed for operation in maritime environments and ruggedized for the shock and vibration experienced on water. SonoWatch provides high fidelity acoustic signal capture with advanced processing to provide accurate signal characterization, even in the presence of engine noise and the wind/rain.
SonoWatch provides notification of naval navigation acoustic alerts for the safe operation of surface vessels. The SonoWatch system consists of a 360° field of view acoustic array with a below deck unit that processes the array data and displays the information on a user interface. McQ has developed signal processing algorithms to uniquely classify maritime navigation signals. SonoWatch provides a proper “lookout” to avoid the risk of collision in any condition of visibility.
The high sensitivity microphone array provides long range detection, accurate line of bearing to the source, and identification of navigational signals. The SonoWatch acoustic system is built as a powerful platform for new sensing capabilities and features to meet the future requirements of the U.S. Navy and other potential customers. These other capabilities could include detection and classification of watercraft engines and land based detection and classification of vehicles and aircraft.
Augmenting the SonoWatch Acoustic Situation Awareness system is a new small McQ CONNECT™ product that provides global data communications from any land or sea based location in the world. McQ CONNECT can deliver data and information from static or mobile systems and provide command and control to these systems. McQ CONNECT links the SonoWatch system on an unmanned watercraft to a user display on either manned marine watercraft or land based sites. McQ CONNECT provides IP Communications from remote systems to distributed users and command and control to the system from the user.