Experimental design considerations in the operational test and evaluation of airborne acoustic processing systems
McClure, Donald James
Bourke, Robert H.
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The antisubmarine warfare (ASW) capability of the air arms of western navies depends upon their ability to employ air-dropable sonobuoys for the detection and localization of enemy submarines. The systems which process the acoustic information from these sonobuoys are sophisticated spectrum analyzers. A constant effort to improve performance has led to frequent updates to existing systems and the periodic development of completely new processors. Assessing the significance of these improvements in the operational environment is the function of an operational evaluation. The operational evaluation of an acoustic processing system is complicated by the impact of the constantly changing acoustic propagation conditions encountered in ocean operating areas. This, along with the inherent variability in the other factors affecting passive sonar performance, makes it difficult to compare the ranges achieved from one trial to the next. However, it is imperative that the evaluation agencies report findings that are applicable over the wide variety of operating conditions which are likely to be encountered in the operational employment of the airborne acoustic processor.
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