[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
Underwater passive acoustic directional sensors and Seaweb through-water networked acoustic communications are implemented in the Intracoastal Waterway at Morehead City, North Carolina on the U.S. eastern seaboard. The objective is to demonstrate capability for first-alert protection of a high-value port facility against asymmetric threats that intelligence sources indicate are arriving via watercraft. Battery-powered acoustic sensors are rapidly deployed at widely separated chokepoint locations in shallow 5-10 meter water. These sensors autonomously detect the passage of a maritime vessel and generate a contact report indicating time, location and heading of the target. Seaweb through-water acoustic communications delivers the contact report via a scalable wide-area underwater network including multiple acoustic repeater nodes and a radio/acoustic communications (Racom) gateway buoy. The Racom gateway telemeters the contact report via Iridium satellite communications to an ashore command center with low latency. The in situ acoustic detection is corroborated using shore-based video surveillance to classify the contact as friendly or actionable.