Autonomous uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) and underwater vehicles (UUVs)
are quickly becoming essential platforms for marine data collection due to their economic and practical benefits over crewed alternatives. As acoustics is the primary sensing modality for the underwater environment, towed hydrophone arrays are of great importance to the realisation of their capabilities. The miniaturisation of hydrophones and electronics means arrays are now thin and light enough to be towed by these platforms, but incorporation of these data into the autonomy is key to fully unlocking their potential. Real-time processing is therefore a major step towards this.

A real-time beamforming and detection payload was developed and tested with two different autonomous marine vehicles: the AutoNaut USV and the MSubs Manta extra-large UUV (XLUUV). During trials, a projector deployed from a support surface vessel was used to emulate an underwater source, emitting multiple tonal signals between 480−1630 Hz. Simultaneously, the autonomous vehicle was towing a Seiche digital thin line array receiving the acoustic emissions. Beamforming and automated detection were performed in real-time on-board, logged, and in the case of the USV, communicated to human operators on shore.

We present the beamforming and detection results from these trials, as well as the results of post-processing and follow-on work involving tracking using a particle filter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Underwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition, UACE 2023
EditorsM. Taroudakis
PublisherI.A.C.M, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023
EventUnderwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition - Grecotel Filoxenia, Kalamata, Greece
Duration: 26 Jun 202330 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameUnderwater Acoustic Conference and Exhibition Series


ConferenceUnderwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition
Abbreviated titleUACE-2023
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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