The Undersea Navigation System

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Submarines are precisely an integral part of several navies all over the world. However, despite so much technological developments, precise underwater navigation is still a big issue for them. A simple solution to this problems was recently proposed by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that was successful in converting the BAE systems into a Positioning System for in-depth ocean missions. The dangers are possessed not only by the intensely armed nuclear-powered capsules located in the depth of oceans, the submarines also face grave dangers when they come close to the surface. The Deep Ocean Navigation (POSYDON) is mandatory for navigation as well as positioning of such submarines. The space-based Global Positioning Systems have proved insufficient as the signals are not able to penetrate deep waters. In worst cases, even floating close to the surface isn’t enough for u-boats. 

The basic concept behind development of POSYDON is to bring forth a navigation, positioning, and timing system that will allow the underground water bodies to stay underwater through numerous, long range, integrated acoustic sources at some fixed points all over the oceans. The system will be capable enough to assist both manned as well as unmanned missions by helping them in positioning themselves in an accurate manner without coming close to the surface. BAE also plans to develop the ship-based system that is required for reception and processing of acoustic signals that are used by POSYDON. 

According to Joshua Niedzwiecki, the Sensor Processing and Exploitation director at the BAE systems, “BAE Systems has more than 40 years of experience developing underwater active and passive acoustic systems. We’ll use this same technology to revolutionize undersea navigation for the POSYDON program, by selecting and demonstrating acoustic underwater GPS sources and corresponding small-form factor receivers.” 

The new technology will, however, have its own set of challenges like ecological concerns or acoustic interference. The development is still in progress so we hope what will come up will be the best product in all aspects.