Navy to evaluate submarine imaging system
that provides 360-degree view of the horizon
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ity on the surface through the use
of a very high-resolution, visible-
light omni camera and an
uncooled thermal infrared omni
camera for nighttime use.”
The imaging system also can
immediately display the 360-degree
image on a tactical display in the submarine. The panoramic view is displayed in two complementary 180-
degree strips, one above the other. A
third strip is available on the display
for magnification of narrower-angle
views of specific targets or directions of interest.
McGinn said the third strip could be used, for
example, to focus on a view 30 degrees off axis of the
bow of the submarine, or on a 60-degree cone toward
the closest point of land, or toward the bearing of a
last-known sonar contact.
McGinn, a retired vice admiral and former commander of U.S. Third Fleet, said the system’s image-processing software was designed to use modular, off-the-shelf software to “lower the degree of difficulty of
integration” with the submarine.
For the sea trials, the imaging system will use a
stand-alone tactical display. If produced, a 360-degree
imaging system would be integrated with the submarine’s multipurpose tactical displays.
The scene captured by the periscope is recorded, so
that a submarine can descend to safer depths and subject the image to intense analysis.
“You can expand it, contract it, slice it up in various
segments of field of view and really have a much better
understanding of what’s up there on the surface than you
possibly could have with a very brief sweep of an existing periscope with a narrow field of view,” McGinn said.
The imaging system uses a parabolic mirror and
lens and image processing to eliminate distortion of
the panoramic image of the kind that, for example,
occurs from a fisheye lens.
RemoteReality’s panoramic imaging system provides instanta-
neous 360-degree coverage from a submarine periscope.
■ The system offers increased situational awareness for submarines.
■ Images are recorded on a tactical display.
■ The imaging system is being tested this month on an attack
The Navy is beginning sea trials of a new
panoramic periscope imaging system that may
give submarines greater situational awareness
for safer navigation. The system — or one based on its
design — also could offer potential tactical advantages.
The Navy will evaluate an advanced panoramic imaging system on the Type 18 periscope mast of a Los
Angeles-class attack submarine (SSN) in the U.S. Pacific
Fleet. The Type 18 — the standard periscope deployed
on the Los Angeles-class and Seawolf-class SSNs — is
being upgraded with SUBIS (submarine imaging subsys-tem), and the new panoramic system, or one with similar capability, could augment the SUBIS.
SUBIS comprises a set of analog video and digital
still cameras that record the periscopic view for
enhancement by software for analysis.
The panoramic imaging system, designed by
RemoteReality of Westboro, Mass., under the technical
oversight of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Division Newport in Newport, R.I., gives an instant,
360-degree omni-directional view of the horizon
around the exposed periscope.
The RemoteReality imaging system “combines
hardware and a software interface [and] provides submarine operators with a critical ‘quick look’ capability,” said Denny McGinn, CEO of RemoteReality. “It
captures, in an instant, a full 360-degree view of activ-