GSE is supporting U.S. Navy advanced sonobuoy development under the SBIR N182-097 “Improved Low-Cost DIFAR Sonobuoy Upper”. A sonobuoy device has a hydrophone (special underwater microphone) and a radio to transmit sound is called a passive listening sonobuoy. There are also sonobuoys that transmit and listen to sound, like sonar for a ship.

In either case sonobuoys have a few common uses:

  • Sonobuoys are used by navies to detect and track underwater platforms like submarines and autonomous vehicles.
  • They are used by the US Coastguard to monitor shipping in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • Another great example of the use of sonobuoys is to protect our environment by observing fish or marine mammals like whales and dolphins. In this case sonobuoys give fisherman and scientists the ability to learn about what the animals are doing.
  • As you can imagine sonobuoys have other possible uses including help weather scientists predict storms, help detect underwater earthquakes and land slides and tidal waves, they provide information that keeps boaters and ships safe at sea, and they can also be used to monitor environmental conditions like changes in water temperature or pollution caused by oil spills.

At GSE our objective is to help produce sonobuoys that give maximize value to the U.S. Navy and others by increasing the performance and reducing the cost of future sonobuoys through software modernization and hardware miniaturization.