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Patent 7929374 Click For Printable Version of This Patent
Patent Information:  USPTO Site Listing

Patent Number: 7929374
Case ID: 0
Patent Title: Multi-static object tracker using specular cue initiation and directed data retrieval
Status: ACTIVE
Status Date: 12/2/2011 11:39:02 AM
Issue Date: 4/19/2011
Filed Date: 10/29/2008
Serial #: 2/260,133
Assignee Name: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy (Washington, DC)
Inventor(s): Grimmett, Douglas J.
Lab Information:  View Lab Profile

Lab Name: SPAWAR Systems Center, Pacific
Location: 53560 Hull Street
San Diego, CA 92152-5001
Contact: Contact Lab About This Patent

The present invention pertains generally to sonar systems. More particularly, the present invention pertains to active sonar systems that exploit the specular echo phenomenon to selectively retrieve sonar data in a manner that minimize false alarm rates.


Distributed multistatic active sonar networks have the potential to increase anti-submarine warfare (ASW) performance against small, quiet, threat submarines in the harsh clutter-saturated littoral and the deeper open-ocean environments. This improved performance comes through the expanded geometric diversity achieved with multiple sources and receivers, and results in increased probability of detection, area coverage, object tracking, classification, and localization through cross-fixing.

However, the increased number of sensors in a multistatic network results in corresponding increases in the data rate, processing, communications requirements, an . . . . More
Methods, computer-readable means, and systems for minimizing false alarm rates and operator loading while conducting multistatic active sonar operations are disclosed. A plurality of sensor nodes is established, with each sensor node including an active sonar source, and a receiver. Each sensor node has a local storage center, and each node is connected to a data fusion center. During active sonar operations, a high threshold (HTH) and a low threshold (LTH) setting is established. For each sensor node, all sonar return data above the LTH setting are stored at its respective storage center. The HTH is set so that only specular echo returns exceed the HTH; when the HTH setting is exceeded, the fusion center retrieves LTH data from each storage center corresponding to the same specular echo return, in order to establish a track for the contact.
What is claimed is:

1. A method for minimizing false alarm rates while conducting active sonar operations, said method comprising the steps of: A) establishing a plurality of sensor nodes, each said node having a local data storage centers; B) conducting active sonar operations with each said node; C) storing data from said active sonar operations at said local data storage centers; D) setting high threshold (HTH) and low threshold (LTH) signal-to-noise ratios (SNR''s) for said sensor nodes; and, E) selectively retrieving LTH data snippets from said local data storage centers when echoes from an object resulting from said step B) exceed said HTH.

2. The method claim 1, further comprising the steps of: F) linking said local storage centers to a data fusion center; G) fusing said LTH data snippets at said data fusion center to yield track information for said object.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein said step D) is accomplished so that said HTH is only  . . . . More