28 Juni 2011
Thales has developed minesweeping technology that can trigger mine detonation. (photo : DSTO)
A technology for mine sweeping using acoustic waves, called the Infrasonic Advanced Acoustic Generator (IAAG), has gone on trial with DSTO as part of the Capability and Technology Demonstrator (CTD) program.
The threat in question is that of sea mines designed to detonate upon detection of acoustic signals emitted by vessels.
Not only can these mines target vessels in this way, they can also differentiate between targets since larger ships emit lower frequency signatures.
Thales Australia has developed minesweeping technology that neutralises the mine problem by creating an acoustic signal that emulates the emitted acoustic signature of vessels and thus triggers mine detonation.
The Advanced Acoustic Generator (AAG) is one such device, now in service with the US Navy, RAN and two other navies.
The AAG is able to emulate the acoustic signature of warships up to destroyer size and merchant ships below 50,000 tonnes.
Four sea trials were conducted between June and September last year at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay, by Thales team and DSTO.
The aim was to demonstrate the IAAG’s acoustic output and its effectiveness in deployment in different configurations.
“The Thales team successfully delivered all the CTD outcomes, and professionally managed the CTD within the timeline,” said Anthony Quach DSTO Technical Lead for the CTD project.
“Overall, a very good outcome was delivered for Navy, with this cutting edge mine countermeasures technology being shown to enhance the Australian Minesweeping System capability and thus meet Navy’s operational requirements.”—Defence Science Australia.