Conducting Test and Evaluation in Marine Environments

Dr. Martin Renken

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport 

Friday, Mar. 1, 2019, 2:30pm
Chase 105

One of the missions for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport is to help industry and the federal government meet the needs of the Active Duty US Navy particularly for undersea systems. One of the important facets of accomplishing this mission is evaluating the capability and suitability of various marine systems as they are being acquired by the Federal government. While many tests can be conducted within the laboratory, ultimately many systems must be tested within their operational environment which often leads to live testing conducted within controlled spaces of the USA’s waters. In particular, NUWC Division Keyport has cognizance over the primary test and evaluation ranges for underwater systems. In this talk, three facets of underwater testing are going to be explored to provide context, some of the challenges and even some of the current solutions to these challenges when trying to measure the capability of specific underwater systems before they might be used by the US Navy. These three facets involve the use of portable instrumentation to create a “range” for monitoring a swarm of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, development of algorithms for detecting significant underwater acoustic signals and finally, the creation of a testbed for exploring how to test autonomous systems.


Dr. Martin Renken earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University in 1991. He followed this by working as a part-time graduate cooperative education student at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder Colorado while working towards his Masters and PhD in Digital Signal Processing through the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Throughout this time, Dr. Renken applied signal processing analysis techniques to materials characterization and non-destructive testing with ultrasonic waves. After a brief post-doctoral position at the University of Denver Research Institute, Dr. Renken joined NUWC Division Keyport as a research engineer. At this time, Dr. Renken is a NAVSEA Underwater Acoustic subject matter expert particularly with respect to the propagation of acoustic waves relevant to the potential impact of those waves on marine life. Dr. Renken is also a principle developer for future technology to be used for conducting underwater and surface test and evaluation of US Navy systems. In this latter role, Dr. Renken has begun exploring autonomous systems and the testing of autonomous systems and is vitally interested in this topic and the topics of autonomous perception particularly applied to underwater systems.