Skip to Main Content
Defence Research and Development Canada has recently wrapped up a 4-year project to demonstrate an integrated system for force protection in harbours, the Canadian Underwater Protection System (CUwPS). The intention of the Maritime Force Protection Technology Demonstration Project was to provide advice to the Canadian Navy on countering underwater threats to ships (divers, swimmers, AUVs) in harbours and anchorages. The project program was designed around a series of trials, which included a major international trial in Sydney, Australia, in February 2009, an evaluation for potential use in security measures for the 2010 Winter Olympics and participation in exercises prior to and during the International Fleet Review and Royal visit in July 2010. The CUwPS itself is comprised of COTS equipment with modest integration. A critical aspect of the CUwPS concept of operations is the requirement to positively identify threats that have been flagged by a wide-area-coverage diver detection sonar system. This is accomplished by tasking a response boat outfitted with a high resolution imaging sonar to investigate contacts or areas and if appropriate, to issue loud-hailer warnings. During the trials conducted through the course of the MFP TDP, several different small imaging sonars were tested for this identification role, with varying degrees of success. Assessment of the performance of the imaging sonars has been undertaken with the goal of obtaining an objective measure of the suitability of any one sonar for the identification task. The results of this assessment exercise will be presented along with some lessons learned.