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Cabled Large-Area Transportable Littoral Tracking Range

RangeNav is a transportable underwater tracking range designed to suit the increasing demand for testing and operations in the near-shore (littoral) environment. This cabled tracking range provides a practical and field-tested tracking range capability for a variety of applications and customers. Tracking can be the size of a football field or extend up to a few hundred square kilometers in the theoretical maximum build-out.

Preceding Southstar, RangeNav was custom-built to support the Test & Evaluation (T&E) activities of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City (NSWC-PC) where it is known as PLATS, the Portable Littoral Acoustic Tracking System. NSWC was seeking a ‘semi-disposable’ tracking range which could be temporarily deployed at any site, using locally available vessels and marine personnel. As such, the system extends underwater range capabilities to environments that are not covered by fixed installations such as AUTEC or SCORE.

RangeNav principally consists of a number of listening stations interconnected by a power/data umbilical cable. A chain of stations is deployed serpentine style throughout a worksite, with nominal station spacing of 250m in shallow/constricted waters to 500m or 1000m in deeper waters. The lightweight hardware is quickly deployed and is available without interruptions for operations lasting days or months. Digital signal processing done right in each listening station makes this tracking range surprisingly simple: Copper-only cables and simple wet-mateable connectors connect the underwater array to a surface station requiring only a notebook computer and a small power/data junction box.

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