MAC Awarded an SBIR Phase I project to develop a depth resolved temperature and salinity LIDAR measurements to better estimate underwater sound speed

Company News

ANN ARBOR, MI, June 7, 2017 – Michigan Aerospace Corporation (MAC) is pleased to announce the award and acceptance of the U.S. Department of Defense, Navy SBIR Phase I award, titled “SALT LiDAR.” 

The Sound speed, Salinity, and Temperature (SALT) LIDAR will make depth-resolved measurements of sound speed in water without prior knowledge of the water’s salinity or temperature. This will be achieved by performing high-speed Brillouin spectroscopic measurements of LIDAR backscatter from an airborne platform. The SALT LIDAR builds on decades of Michigan Aerospace Corporation’s experience building atmospheric LIDAR technology and will provide a hands-free depth-resolved measurement of marine and freshwater sound speed, salinity, and temperature for acoustic propagation applications. 

Knowledge of sound speed, salinity, and temperature as a function of depth is required in a variety of sonar and ocean science applications. Beyond the immediate needs of the Navy, there is a strong need in the hydrographic survey community for measurements of sound speed in the water column. Accurate and real-time knowledge of sound speed vs. depth from a shipborne SALT LIDAR would allow hydrographic survey crews to measure wider sonar swaths and stop less often for CTD measurements saving considerable time, hassle, and money. Beyond sonar applications, depth-resolved information about salinity and temperature is essential in marine and freshwater sciences for understanding the dynamics of the water and the life that lives within it. 

For more details, please visit SBIR.GOV