Site: Dubna International Centre of Research and Technology Development (TECHNOPOLE)
14 Sovetskaya St.
Dubna, Moscow Region 141980

Date Visited: May 20, 1993

Report Author: M. DeHaemer



M. DeHaemer


Alexander Voronkov - Director, International Centre of Research and Technology Development
Valeryi S. Shevchenko - Director, ROS Company

Entuziastov St., 5A, Rm 02 Dubna, Moscow Region 141980 Russia

Sergey Saltykov - Signal Processing, ROS Company Oleg Upensky - Geoton Company

Box 25 Dubna-1 Moscow Region 141980 Russia

Andrey Polevik - Peleng Company, Special Construction Bureau

Senior scientist INFRAD c/o TECHNOPOLE


The Dubna International Centre of Research and Technology Development, TECHNOPOLE, is a trade group that represents several new start-up companies that have been spun off to commercialize technologies developed at the Atoll Scientific Research Institute in Dubna, a short distance from Moscow. Atoll appears to have been a center for the development of advanced acoustic systems for military, oil exploration, and oceanographic purposes. Advanced acoustic system hardware (transducers and signal processors) and analysis software were developed at the institute.

As a result of the downsizing of support for military applications and the reduced support for other purposes in the constricting Russian economy, groups of scientists and engineers have formed small companies in an attempt to commercialize their technical knowledge and/or products for civilian purposes. Representatives from four small acoustic product companies came to Moscow to brief a subgroup of the panel under the TECHNOPOLE umbrella. The discussion of each company follows.

ROS Company

The ROS Company, which may be the oldest of the four companies, was the only company with a product that was developed and ready for sale. ROS was represented by Mr. Valeryi Shevchenko as a company with expertise in subsea surveillance systems and communications systems. He and a colleague met the team at the ROS Company exhibit at a communications equipment trade show. The company exhibit was of hardware and computer displays for a seabed passive sonar system. The system was low frequency -- less than 1 Hz up to 5 kHz, with a sensitivity of 250 microvolt/pascal.

The wet part of the system consisted of multiple hydrophone arrays; each array was in a straight line with multiple arrays ganged onto an underwater data transmission line. Arrays might have thirty or eighty hydrophones. From four to eight arrays would make up the underwater systems. Analog to digital signal conversion was provided at each hydrophone, and electronic to optical signal conversion occurred in a regenerator at the array level to enable fiber-optic transmission to the shore station.

The dry part of the system consisted of a remote controlled power supply and an acoustic data analysis and display system that used an 80486 microcomputer. Very efficient data sampling, compression and analysis algorithms were claimed for the system, which, with TMS 320 S-30 chips for each four arrays, enabled effective and timely processing with a 486 microcomputer. Frequency, bearing, time, and target location (depending on array layout) could be displayed for up to five simultaneous targets per display. A database for classification of shipping targets is available from ROS. Larger projection displays could be incorporated if desired. The wet system could be retrieved and redeployed; the dry system is compact enough to reside in a mobile van. Other characteristics are in Figure Dubna.1 at the end of this site report. Figures Dubna.2 and Dubna.3 are photos that show the hydrophone -- piezoceramic of about 1.5 inch diameter -- and the hydrophone housing -- approximately 12" x 5" x 2" -- which contains the hydrophone and the a/d signal converter.

The ROS Company sees uses for the system as primarily one of surveillance of a national economic zone, that is, detecting the presence of unauthorized fishing vessels, for example. An alternative use might be in connection with seismic exploration for oil.

The company believes that its subsea system will be priced at only one-fifth of the price of such a system from Western countries. A minimum system with only two hydrophone arrays might be arranged for less than $400,000, exclusive of chartering vessels to deliver it to the site.

The ROS Company expressed great interest in finding both buyers and partners for its system. The company has sold one system and expects to place it in service in the autumn of 1993.

Geoton Company

Mr. Oleg Upensky of Geoton Company presented a multichannel seismic system to explore for oil and gas. Geoton is about two years old, with experience levels among company personnel of up to ten years in undersea digital systems. The unique feature of the Geoton system is its multichannel capability for data acquisition and processing. Up to 10,000 channels are possible in the system, which can enable three-dimensional views and greater accuracy for location of test drilling sites. Geoton claims that this will reduce the number of test wells by one-third. With the Geoton system in place, it is also possible to estimate undepleted reserves in productive oil and gas fields. See Figure Dubna.4.

Geoton has built several components for its system and tested them in the lab. Systems have been developed around the TMS 320 processor using algorithms developed solely in Russia, which has no access to the computer technology of the West. The Institute of Oil and Gas has deployed and tested a 12-channel system with good results.

Although Geoton does not manufacture, it will partner with other Russian companies to produce the system. Geoton believes it is well positioned to serve companies that will be conducting oil and gas exploration in the fields of Siberia and is looking for clients with that same interest.

Peleng Company

Mr. Andrey Polevik represented a newly formed design bureau that specializes in high power, low frequency (below 1,000 Hz), acoustic emitters. Mr. Polevik is a senior scientist with many years of experience in emitter design, and is the holder of approximately 80 patents for acoustic devices. He discussed the designs of a sparker, a boomer, an electrodynamic, and a hydraulic emitter. Finally he discussed the characteristics of a patented cylindrical emitter, especially for use in seismic operations.

The need for more durable electrodes in the sparker device has been solved by encapsulating them in a special liquid in which the high powered electric discharge takes place. The power in a single pulse from this large device (1.2 m by .6 m and weighing 300 kg) is 5 kJ, which is hydraulically transmitted through the encapsulation to the surrounding sea. Operational depth is up to 200 m. (See photo and specification in Figure Dubna.5.)

A high powered boomer induction pulsing emitter with a tunable frequency response was described. The device was tunable to provide maximum amplitude in the low frequencies -- 50 to 700 Hz. It was claimed to be the first such design available for deep water use, that is, up to 300 m. (See photo and specifications in Figure Dubna.6.) Mr. Polevik has patented and produced a working model for a pulse resonant transmitter with high efficiency. The transmitter has a flat characteristic curve in the 10 to 300 Hz range through the use of reactive compensation, and has output power in the 3 kJ range. The transmitter shown in Figure Dubna.7 is electrohydraulic; it is purely electric at low power and can be purely hydraulic at high power. Finally Mr. Polevik discussed the proposed development of a low frequency active array of cylindrical shapes that might be used for searching out oil and gas fields. The array would be arranged to fit down an oil or gas well casing and would operate in the 50 to 1,000 Hz range, with controls to produce a directed beam pattern along a horizontal plane. The total system would also include a multichannel receiver array. See Figure Dubna.8 at the end of this site report.

INFRAD Company

A senior scientist from INFRAD described the Argus system that is being developed in partnership with other companies in the Dubna region. The Argus system proposes to use sonar emission tomography for the detection of fish shoals, currents and underwater waves, and sediment fallout rates. The proposed system would be purely passive and would have a maximum depth of 1,000 m, with a monitoring base line of 150 m that lies up to 200 km offshore. The pattern of surface noise would be understood through array processing as fish, currents, or sediment, and could be characterized as to depth, density, and school size of fish. The processing by each array would require the characteristics of the conditions in situ. The spokesperson for INFRAD explained that for about one year there had been basic work exploring the fine structure of hydroacoustic fields to support the concept of sonar tomography, but as yet there had been no funding to support experiments.


The several private companies that have spun off from the Atoll Scientific Research Institute have strengths in development of low frequency hydroacoustic transmitters and receivers, and in the development of signal processing algorithms. The signal processing algorithms are very likely to be highly efficient since the companies have proposed multichannel receivers with only limited computing requirements. The possibility of sonar tomography for oceanographic data collection is an exciting one. One company, ROS, has manufactured a low frequency surveillance system that is inexpensive compared to similar equipment in the United States and Europe.

These strengths suggest attractiveness and potential for either commercial or research cooperative partnerships with the companies in Dubna.

Figure Dubna.1. Seabed Passive Sonar Systems to Monitor Traffic and Environment in Economic and Nature Reserve Regions SALMA and SEMGA

Figure Dubna.2. Hydrophone (1)

Figure Dubna.3. Hydrophone (2)

The Geoton together with other enterprises from Dubna, possess everything required to manufacture, deliver and install under a contract the SHELF Sea-Be Multichannel seismic System to explore oil and gas on the continental shelf as well as to monitro deposits being exploited.

The SHELF System is highly effective in a number of major activities of seismic exploration on the sea shelf, such as

Figure Dubna.4. "SHELF" Seabed Multichannel Seismic System to Explore Oil and Gas on the Sea Shelf

                  Technical Characteristics:
Power in pulse ....................................... up to 5 kJ
Pulse repetition frequency ............ up to 2 pulses per second
Frequency range .................................... 50 - 3500 Hz
Operation depth ..................................... up to 200 m
Voltage on electrode system from pulse current generator .. 20 kV
Weight (in air) .......................................... 300 kg
Height .................................................... 1.2 m
Diameter .................................................. 0.6 m
Resource ............................................ 10^8 pulses

Figure Dubna.5. Underwater Electric Discharge Acoustic Source

             Technical Characteristics:
Power in pulse ............................................. 3 kJ
Pulse repetition frequency ................. 10 pulses per second
Frequency range ..................................... 50 - 700 Hz
Continuous operation mode
Tunable energetic maximum in low frequency range
Operation depth ........................................... 300 m
Voltage on electrode system from pulse current generator .. 20 kV
Weight (in air) .......................................... 300 kg
Height .................................................... 0.4 m
Diameter .................................................. 0.6 m

Figure Dubna.6. Electromagnetic Source of Underwater Acoustic Pulses

     Specifications                       Basic advantages over counterparts available:
- power consumption - 3 kW                  - smooth amplitude-frequency response
- frequency range - 2-400 Hz                  within 5-250 Hz range;
- efective range - 5-250 Hz                 - twice as much radiation effeciency due to
- operation depth - up to 300 m               impedance reactive component compensation
- piston stoke - up to +/- 15 mm            - considerably higher specific acoustic power
- number of transmitting pistons - 2          due to more effective use of the magnetic
- piston diameter - 300 mm                    field volume.
- compensation drum diameter Rs - 450 mm
- max. heigth - 550 mm
- length - 700 mm
- weight - 200 kg

Sonar systems verification, investigation of sound
propagation in ocean enironment etc.

Figure Dubna.7. Underwater Magazine-Type Wide-Band Electrodynamic Source With Reactive Component Compensation

1 - transmitting array control subsystem;
2 - LF linear transmitting array with vertically controlled directivity pattern;
3 - multi-element linear receiving array;
4 - computer centre (radiochannel provided).

Figure Dubna.8. Low Frequency Logging System to Search Oil and Gas

Published: June 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian