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Noob Passive Sonar Question

Onkle Karl

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When searching for a sub using passive sonar I'm a little confused on how the initial detection works.  I understand the tables, calculating the probability, etc.; however, when contact is made I'm not sure how accurate the initial location is.

I've included a simple diagram of 2 squares (searching ships) that have made passive contact with a sub.  The next step is for a helo or ASW plane to go find the sub based on the 2 ships' passive contact.  I understand that the passive sonar contact won't tell me range or depth but does give direction.


Is the passive sonar direction like the diagram on the left where each ship knows exactly what direction the sub is from the ship?  Or, is there some 'cone' of uncertainty about the contact (i.e. direction +/- 10 degrees) like in the diagram on the right?

In the case of the diagram on the left seems like 2 ships could find the exact position (but not depth) of a sub with passive sonar (which seems a bit dodgy to me but maybe that's how it works).  I can't find this specifically stated in the rules and any help is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.



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The diagram on the right is more accurate.  The passive sensor is an array of smaller sensors that give a range of bearings to the source.  This is also very similar to how ES bearings work.  The rules do not specify the bearing angles because there are so many diffrent degrees for all the different systems.  For example, a towed array has narrow angles when listening to the sides, but the angles increase towards the front or rear of the array.  Strange stuff.

When playing H-V I believe the actual angles are not relevant.  Someone, whether a single player or the referee, knows the actual bearing.  As long as you get a good fire control solution, your torpedo will track true and have a good chance to hit. 

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Many thanks for the reply.  When I referee I may assign a random +/- arc.  The variability has less to do with developing a firing solution and more to do with where to begin dropping sonobuoys or putting down a dipping sonar.  Having a trapezoid (like the diagram at right) will make it a bit more difficult (and fun) for the searcher trying to get a firm contact on the sub.  Bit more suspense too.


Thanks again for the insight on how it all works.

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