20 Nov 2019

Leonardo ULISSES submarine-hunting acoustic system passes sea trials

Leonardo has proven the submarine-hunting capabilities of its new ULISSES acoustic sensor system in a live sea trial off the coast of Italy, meaning that development is on track for completion by the end of 2019.

Production of the ULISSES system will now take place in 2020 for deliveries the same year and Leonardo is in talks with a number of potential domestic and international customers.

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.

The recent sea trials proved the benefits of ULISSES multistatic capabilities in a realistic naval environment. They 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.

The success of the trials means that development of the system is on track to wrap up by the end of December, with production ready to start next year.

image from shutterstock

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