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Four French Navy vessels equipped with older-generation analogue sonar systems have been upgraded using Analogue Surface Ship Sonar Improvement (AS3i) technology from RTSys, the company has been explaining to visitors to UDT 2019 in Stockholm this week.

Under the Revalorisation Capacitaire des Sonars des Frégates (Frigate Sonar Capacity Upgrade) programme, known under the acronym ACORES, RTsys has employed a sustainable solution based on its synchronous data acquisition (SDA) technology to digitise and process received signals without any necessity to modify existing transmitters and transducers. Since summer 2017 this solution has been deployed on three French Navy anti-submarine frigates (FASM) in Brest and a single anti-aircraft warfare frigate (FAA) in Toulon.

Effectively providing a capability upgrade without the costs associated with hardware replacement, the RTsys solution offers improved processing, which significantly enhances reception, as well as the new user interfaces enabled by replacement of the screens, made possible by signal digitisation. This upgrade means the sonars have new capabilities, such as the ability to mark objects and follow them. In addition, an automatic torpedo detection system running as a background process emits warning signals based on simple detection criteria to attract the operator's attention. The operator nonetheless still retains control as to whether or not to confirm an alert. Implementing the RTsys solution will make these frigates’ sonars compatible with other digital measuring devices.

RTsys has specialised in passive and active underwater acoustics and drones for over 30 years and has developed expertise and extensive business experience in the development of reasonably-priced high-tech products. Its self-funded development of the SDA technology supports the application of its products in both the civil and naval sectors.

RTsys’ recognised expertise in defence and its close collaboration with the French Navy has helped it develop innovative underwater detection systems. (Photo: French Navy)

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