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Navy eyes complex undersea simulation to help emulate near-real-world marine sensor data

WASHINGTON, 22 Dec. 2013. U.S. Navy underwater warfare experts are overseeing a project to develop simulation capability so detailed that it can substitute for real-world data in efforts to help engineers build and test physics-based marine sensors such as sonar, lasers, and electro-optical sensors.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington awarded an $11.8 million contract modification last week to Sedna Digital Solutions LLC in Manassas, Va., for the High Fidelity Simulation/Simulation and Common Processing System program.

Sedna experts are developing software that could provide sensor and algorithm designers with an alternative source of data for conducting marine sensor performance testing and analysis in the laboratory.

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The contract modification announced on 16 Dec. is part of a potential $56.1 million sole-source contract that Naval Sea Systems Command awarded to Sedna last April. The original contract was for $10.2 million.

Sedna’s work is part of a larger Navy research initiative to develop the High Fidelity Sensor Level Stimulation and Common Processing System. This project seeks to evaluate high-fidelity stimulation in the testing and production cycle for tactical physics-based sensor systems used in applications like underwater surveillance, mapping, and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

The goal is to develop a high-fidelity front-end simulation system able to stimulate complex physics-based sensor systems involve sonar, electro-optical, and other kinds of detectors as a supplement to real-world data collections and field tests, Navy officials say.

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The simulation software that Sedna experts are developing should be part of a system that provides unlimited flexibility in processing parameters while generating high-resolution data at a fidelity capable of serving as a substitute to collected data sets.

This kind of a simulator should be able to provide physics-based sensor and algorithm designers with an alternative source of data for conducting performance testing and analysis in the laboratory, and provide the correct physics found in shallow water environments, Navy officials say.

The simulator is being designed for all system interfaces and should be able to generate data at the lowest possible level to accommodate the widest range of sensors in near real-time, and to replicate test cases to verify changes in sensor design and algorithm enhancement.

Included will be the ability to transmit low-bandwidth simulated data over a remote interface to test processing system components in other locations.

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The use of a controllable simulated environment should be used to construct quantitative measures of effectiveness regarding the performance of the simulation relative to real-world collected data.

The High Fidelity Sensor Level Stimulation and Common Processing System project is in three phases. The first phase is developing an initial design, the second phase will develop a protype, and the third phase will develop the capability to stimulate real-world sensors in real time.

Navy officials say this kind of simulation capability eventually could be applied to other physics-based problems like fluid dynamics and airborne particle dispersion for industrial and homeland security applications.

For more information contact Sedna Digital Solutions online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

Navy eyes complex undersea simulation to help emulate near-real-world marine sensor data

 Date: Dec 22, 2013
 Author: John Keller

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