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During a recent technology demonstration, a new way to detect buried and submerged mines was unveiled. Dr. Rosemarie Oelrich, a scientist at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock’s Combatant Craft Division, and Dr. Cory Stephanson, president and CEO of Broadband Discovery Systems (BDS) showcased the technology.
The two stared at an Android tablet showing search data from an unmanned aerial drone they had just flown. The device’s screen glowed as a green fluorescent map appeared, splashed with red clusters of varying sizes and shapes. “The drone detected and localized construction rebars and dummy mines quickly and accurately, which would be extremely valuable in a real combat scenario”, explained Stephanson.
Oelrich and Stephanson were testing the new Mine Warfare Rapid Assessment Capability (MIW RAC) system. Sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) TechSolutions program, MIW RAC consists of a small quadcopter outfitted with an ultra-sensitive magnetometer sensor system to detect mines and provide real-time search data to a handheld Android device.
“The technology will help Sailors and Marines who are approaching a beachfront to rapidly clear, or at least determine the location of, mines or other hazards that are in their way,” ONR Command Master Chief Matt Matteson, told ONR’s website. “It could potentially save a lot of lives.” MIW RAC is a portable, remote-controlled system that can detect buried or underwater mines during amphibious beach landings. It’s designed to help explosive ordnance disposal teams quickly find mines and dangerous metal obstacles within coastal surf zones and very-shallow-water zones. MIW RAC would provide a new, real-time aerial complement to existing underwater mine-detection capabilities. “Everyone wants to know where they’re going and what they’re about to get into,” said Oelrich, who is overseeing the development of MIW RAC. “It helps to have a rapid capability to just fly something in the air and survey an area before you put troops on the ground or bring a vessel ashore”.
While the quadcopter and tablet device are available commercially, the heart of MIW RAC is its proprietary magnetometer sensor suite—which has an extensive detection range and uses complex algorithms to differentiate between various types of objects. MIW RAC originated in 2015, when the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) sent a request to ONR’s TechSolutions program for a portable system that could detect potential hazards in surf zones, be easy for warfighters to use and fit diverse platforms.
Offshore security will be the focus of iHLS next conference and exhibition: Strategic installations, offshore rigs and border security, which will take place on June 25th, 2017 at the Lago Conference Center, Rishon LeZion.
Booth/sponsorship: Keren Kalderon [email protected] +972-52-3653165