Sonar & Target Motion Analysis - Fundamentals

Course length:

3 Days



Course dates

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This three-day course is designed for SONAR systems engineers, combat systems engineers, undersea warfare professionals, and managers who wish to enhance their understanding of this discipline or become familiar with the “big picture” if they work outside of the discipline. Each topic is illustrated by worked numerical examples, using simulated or experimental data for actual undersea acoustic situations and geometries.

From this course you will obtain the knowledge and ability to perform basic SONAR and USW systems engineering calculations, identify tradeoffs, interact meaningfully with colleagues, evaluate systems, and understand the literature.

What You Will Learn:

  • What are of the various types of SONAR systems in use on Naval platforms today?
  • What are the major principles governing their design and operation?
  • How is the data produced by these systems used operationally to conduct Target Motion Analysis and USW?
  • What are the typical commercial and scientific uses of SONAR and how do these relate to military use?
  • What are the other military uses of SONAR systems (i.e. those NOT used to support Target Motion Analysis)?
  • What are the major cost drivers for undersea acoustic systems?

From this course you will obtain the knowledge, skill and ability to configure a communications payload based on its service requirements and technical features. You will understand the engineering processes and device characteristics that determine how the payload is put together and operates in a state-of-the-art telecommunications system to meet user needs.

Course Outline:

  1. Sound and the Ocean Environment. Conductivity, Temperature, Depth (CTD). Sound Velocity Profiles. Refraction, Transmission Loss, Attenuation.
  2. SONAR Equations Review of Active and Passive SONAR Equations, Decibels, Source Level, Sound Pressure Level, Intensity Level, Spectrum Level.
  3. Signal Detection. Signals and Noise, Array Gain, Beamforming, BroadBand, NarrowBand.
  4. SONAR System Fundamentals. 4. SONAR System Fundamentals. Review of major system components in a SONAR system (transducers, signal conditioning, digitization, signal processing, displays and controls). Review of various SONAR systems (Hull, Towed, SideScan, MultiBeam, Communications, Navigation, etc.)
  5. SONAR Employment, Data and Information. Hull arrays, Towed Arrays. Their utilization to support Target Motion Analysis.
  6. Target Motion Analysis (TMA). What it is, why it is done, how is SONAR used to support it, what other sensors are required to conduct it.
  7. Time-Bearing Analysis. How relative target motion affects bearing rate, ship maneuvers to compute passive range estimates (Ekelund Range). Use of Time-Bearing information to assess target motion.
  8. Time Frequency Analysis. Doppler shift, Received Frequency, Base Frequency, Corrected Frequency. Use of Time-Frequency information to assess target motion.
  9. Geographic Analysis. Use of Time-Bearing and Geographic information to analyze contact motion.
  10. Multi-sensor Data Fusion. SONAR, RADAR, ESM, Visual.
  11. Relative Motion Analysis and Display. Single steady contact, Single maneuvering contact, Multiple contacts, Acoustic Interference.


Dr. Harold “Bud” Vincent, Research Associate Professor of Ocean Engineering at the University of Rhode Island and President of DBV Technology, LLC is a U.S. Naval officer qualified in submarine warfare and salvage diving. He has over twenty years of undersea systems experience working in industry, academia, and government (military and civilian). He served on active duty on fast attack and ballistic missile submarines, worked at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and conducted advanced R&D in the defense industry. Dr. Vincent received the M.S. and Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering (Underwater Acoustics) from the University of Rhode Island. His teaching and research encompasses underwater acoustic systems, communications, signal processing, ocean instrumentation, and navigation. He has been awarded four patents for undersea systems and algorithms.

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SCHEDULING: If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time. To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at

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