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US Navy Wants AI-Assisted Sonar System for Improved Submarine Tracking

The US Navy wants to employ artificial intelligence (AI) to help sonar operators better utilize the system for improved tracking of enemy submarines.

The service issued a research solicitation asking for formal ideas to design such a system on the navy’s vessels.

Sonar suits are currently operated manually to detect, classify, and track submerged threats.

The operator’s work involves maneuvering through the system’s various modes and settings while factoring in the outside atmosphere, tactical goals, and the operational posture of the force.

AI to Help Process Data, Provide Situational Awareness

The US Navy envisions that an intelligent assistant system leveraging AI will be able to gather and understand sensor data from sonar and provide operators with situational awareness according to key parameters.

The system should also have a direct interface with the operators and display features above and beyond current system capabilities.

In addition to an expected 25 percent improvement over current active sonar detection, classification, and tracking, the service also expects the system to condense the learning time of new operators.

Project Phases

The project will progress in phases, starting with phase one, which involves concept development meeting the requirements mentioned above.

The concept needs to prove its feasibility through analytical modeling and document its specifications and capabilities to build a prototype, the statement said.

In the next phase, a prototype needs to be developed consisting of all the aforementioned characteristics and demonstrating its feasibility.

In the third and final stage, which consists of two parts, the prototype will be first installed on naval vessels while developers facilitate user transition into the new system.

In the second part of the final stage, developers will have to demonstrate and document prototype performance in a laboratory setting.

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