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An oceanographic acoustic beacon and data telemetry system powered by a SNAP-21 radiosotope thermoelectric generator

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1 Author(s)
Mandelberg, Martin ; Naval Underwater Systems Center, New London, CT, USA

An automatic, nuclear powered underwater acoustic beacon and data telemetry system has been developed as part of a Navy oceanographic project by the Naval Underwater Systems Center (New London Laboratory). This system, developed to meet the loan requirements of the Atomic Energy Commission, serves a dual purpose. The system's primary function is to provide timed acoustic pulses for the exact positioning determination of various hydrophones on an underwater array. The second function is to measure internal temperatures of the nuclear generator along with other parameters. On a predetermined schedule, these data are converted to a coded binary bit form and are acoustically transmitted as pulse tones to the array. The coded signal is received by the array and then relayed to a manned shore station via cable to be decoded and displayed. Unique features of this system include: (1) the use of state-of-the-art electronic components, designed for low power consumption and maximum efficiency, (2) compact design to fit within the pressure vessel of a SNAP-21 Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG), and (3) provisions for high accuracy and flexibility.

Published in:

Engineering in the Ocean Environment, IEEE 1971 Conference on

Date of Conference:

21-24 Sept. 1971