In-Air E-field Sensor for Airborne Applications

Period of Performance: 08/29/2016 - 08/31/2018


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

Boston University
881 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Institution POC


The U.S. Navy is seeking new technologies and platforms to advance airborne anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and related maritime surveillance. Current magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) sensors, such as the latest versions of atomic magnetometers, are capable of very low noise operation. However, the performance of these sensors can be limited by the geomagnetic noise environment more so than by either intrinsic sensitivity or procedures for extracting target signals of interest. Monitoring of the ambient electric field (E-field) in conjunction with MAD signals may provide new capability for reducing the geomagnetic noise without significant loss of target signal. Under this STTR project, White River Technologies is fully developing and validating a noise mitigation approach for airborne electromagnetic sensing missions. This effort significantly leverages advances in electric field sensing, analysis and implementation of miniaturized magnetometers, and methods to integrate sensor payloads on manned and unmanned aerial platforms developed by our team. Extensions to underwater search and rescue, salvage, subsea explosive hazard detection, and marine civil infrastructure characterization may be readily accomplished via adaptation of our modular design.