Makai Awarded Small Business Grant for Deep-Drifting Sonobuoys

– Winter, 2015

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Deep-drifting sonobuoys
Makai’s model of the deep-drifting sonobuoy.

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. has been awarded a competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant focused on developing a new deep-drifting sonobuoy. Sonobuoys consist of a surface float connected by a tether to a hydrophone array that is used to listen for submarines in the ocean. Sonobuoys with hydrophones that have a short/shallow tether have a limited listening range. The Navy wishes to develop sonobuoys that use longer tethers that extend 3 miles deep in order to increase the search coverage and detect targets located farther away. The desired operational life is 30+ days.

Makai competed for and won the Navy SBIR Phase 1 grant [Topic number: N142-117] to analyze the sonobuoy survivability under extreme ocean conditions, analyze dispersion of buoys due to ocean currents, identify suitable tether components, and perform parametric analyses of the new sonobuoy system. The ultimate goal of the project is to identify a configuration for a survivable, deep, drifting, persistent sonobuoy system that fits in the existing A-size form factor. Work on Phase 1 will be completed in mid-2015, when the project will be reviewed for a potential Phase 1 Option and/or a Phase 2 continuation of the project.


About Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. is an innovative ocean technology firm based in Hawaii, USA since 1973. Makai’s expertise includes submarine cable software and services, marine pipelines, Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC), Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), underwater vehicles, and marine engineering and R&D. For the last 15 years, Makai has produced the world’s most popular submarine cable installation, planning, and simulation software. Makai is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

For more information, contact:
Duke Hartman
Vice President of Business Development
Makai Ocean Engineering
PO Box 1206 Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734
+1 (808) 259-8871