Saab is leading an international project that has the objective of improving covert communication under water. A communications system is currently being tested in the sea off Bornholm (Sweden) and off Bergen (Norway).
Seven European countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland and Italy) and twelve companies and organisations in those countries are collaborating in a three year project, called UCAC (UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle), Covert, Acoustic, Communication), concerning underwater communication. Saab is leading the project through project manager Maria Pettersson at Saab Underwater Systems.
The new communications system, which is under development, will consist of a coded modem that can communicate at as long a distance as possible without being eavesdropped. It is chiefly aimed at communication between submarines and unmanned underwater vehicles.
"Normally it is very difficult for submarines to communicate covertly which is important that they can do. Using a system like this, an unmanned underwater vehicle can send signals to the submarine and, for example, inform it that it is safe for it to enter a port", explains Maria Pettersson.
The communications system has been tested in the sea off Bornholm for the last four days. This has been carried out using two vessels, the Swedish Navy's submarine rescue and salvage ship HMS Belos and a German research ship, which have communicated with each other. A transmitter has been suspended and towed by one ship and a receiver has been on the other ship.
According to the schedule the communications system will be tested with unmanned underwater vehicles next year. The costs are shared between the countries that are participating in the project.