Low Magnetic Signature Expendable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)

Period of Performance: 05/20/2014 - 11/20/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Latitude Engineering
Tucson, AZ 85719
Principal Investigator


Using a small, cost-effective, expendable Tier I UAV specifically engineered for magnetic anomaly detection will be an effective way to augment the P8-A HAASW capabilities. Tier I UAVs offer many advantages over larger Tier II UAVs for this mission. The main ones being their lower costs and expendability. The primary challenges with using a small Tier I UAV for ASW missions are the development of a sufficiently non-magnetic flying platform, achieving optimal physical separation between sources of magnetic noise and the magnetic sensors, and engineering the entire system to deploy from a sono-launch tube. Another key to high sensitivity magnetic anomaly detection is the use of a scalar atomic magnetometer. An atomic reference provides high accuracy measurements independent of platform motion, especially in the low frequency range critical to MAD. Until now, such systems were too large and heavy for use on Tier I UAVs. In this proposal, Latitude Engineering, a company with extensive unmanned aerial systems expertise, and Twinleaf, a leader in precision magnetic sensors, have teamed together to design, from the ground up, a magnetically quiet airframe specifically engineered for MAD. The proposed effort builds upon prior MAD research conducted by both companies.