Sonobuoy: An Underwater Technology

A device for detecting and identifying the underwater moving objects is known as sonobuoy. Typically, this device is used for detecting submarines and this is done either by passive detection or active detection. Passive detection is done by listening sounds made by machinery and propellers while active detection is done by bouncing a sonar i.e. pinging off the submarine surface. For submarine localization and detection, multi-static techniques are used and these techniques use separate passive receiver and active source sonobuoys. Specialized kind of sonobuoys are able to detect magnetic anomalies and electric fields along with measuring parameters of environment such as air temperature, wave height, water temperature vs. depth, and barometric pressure. These devices are usually released from an aircraft which are armed for launch and also have an electronic equipment for processing and receiving data sent by these devices.


Sonobuoys are acoustics system used to assist antisubmarine warfare in sonobuoy system of US Navy. Actually, they are dropped from ship or aircraft into the ocean for receiving underwater sounds and few of them are also proficient in operating as sources of active acoustic system. The size of these devices are approx. 3ft long and 5in diameter along with a radio transmitter for sending back signals to ship and aircraft. By developing a specific pattern in sunobuoys, exact target location can be detectedc Moreover, sonobuoys are also used for listening earthquake activity and for recording calls of marine mammals. When the sonobuoys are ejected from watercraft or aircraft from canisters, radio transmitter floats on water surface while hydrophone sensors, an underwater microphone used for sound recording are released into the water.

Additionally, growing need among emerging economies for strengthening their operations on anti-submarine operations and for monitoring natural resources are key growth driving factors of the global market for sonobuoy. Sonobuoys demand is mainly related with the expansion of anti-submarine market. Moreover, passive sonobuoys demand is anticipated to grow due to the fact that without notifying the target substance, it performs tracking and detection and this is anticipated to imitate in the revenue prediction. However, strict regulations, high prices related with deployment, sonobuoy monitoring and limitations related with technology are few factors hindering the market growth of sonobuoy globally.

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Moreover, sonobuoy type of underground equipment utilizes technology of SONAR which was not efficient enough. In addition, it was founded that most of the researchers reduced the use of sonobuoy in the initial stage because they find it quite ineffective. However, the North America region is dominating the market followed by the European region. Some global leaders in sonobuoy market such as Radixon, Sealandaire Technologies, Lockheed Martin Corporation, ERAPSCO, Thales Group and General Dynamics Corporation, among others are aiming on emerging markets rather than mature markets. These corporations are more inclined towards expansion of their presence in the market by introducing products.

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