Compact, Lightweight Magnetic Sensor for Small Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV)

Period of Performance: 04/25/2016 - 04/25/2018

$329K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

White River Technologies
1242 Chestnut Street Array
Newton, MA 02464
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

We present an approach that includes development, demonstration, and implementation of an integrated unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) sensor module that will significantly improve the Navys capability to locate, classify, and neutralize undersea explosive threats. The high clutter, object burial, and heavy marine growth often characteristic of shallow environment sites present a challenge for the detection and classification of munitions. Historically, the Navy has focused on integrating acoustic sensors into UUV platforms for mine countermeasures (MCM). More recently, fused approaches involving augmentation with low noise magnetic sensors have improved detection and classification performance and reduced false alarms. Innovative magnetic sensor systems capable of providing acoustic clutter rejection are thus needed. Our approach incorporates a novel magnetic sensor array to augment the target detection and classification capabilities of current UUV systems. The development of new atomic magnetometer technology has led to significantly reduced size and power consumption, enabling a new generation of highly sensitive, miniaturized sensors for multiple naval applications. The integration of these new Micro-Fabricated Atomic Magnetometer (MFAM) sensor systems into field-proven UUVs represents substantial progress in the probabilities of underwater threat detection, classification and identification in these challenging environments.