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Hunting Sea Mines with UUV-Based Magnetic and Electro-Optic Sensors

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Conference paper

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The US Navy USN has recognized the need for effective buried-mine hunting as one of its Organic Mine Countermeasures MCM Future Naval Capabilities. Current thinking envisions a two-step process for identifying buried mines. First, an initial survey, or Search-Classify-Map SCM mission, will be performed using low-frequency synthetic aperture sonar SAS. Second, a Reacquire-and-Identify RI mission will provide confirmatory final classification by reacquiring the target, at close range, with magnetic, acoustic, and electro-optic sensors, and evaluating properties such as geometric details and magnetic moment that can be fused to identify or definitively classify the object. The goal is to demonstrate a robust capability to identify buried sea mines through sensor fusion. Specifically, the classification results of a passive magnetic sensor and an electrooptic sensor will be generated for fusion with the results from a short-range bottom-looking sonar, with all three sensors coresiding and operating simultaneously on an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle UUV. The Bluefin12 Buried Mine Identification BMI System will be used as the platform to develop a capability for the identification of buried mines. This system houses the bottom looking sonar, the Real-time Tracking Gradiometer RTG, and an Electro-Optic Imager EOI. This paper will address the applications of the RTG, EOI, and data fusion results with bottom looking sonar. The objective for the RTG is the enhancement of the processing that extracts target locations and magnetic moments from the raw RTG data. In particular, we are adding a capability to conduct real-time processing capability to provide autonomous target classification and localization results soon after the UUV passes the target, while the system is still performing the mission. These results will be shared with the vehicle or other tr

Subject Categories:

  • Electrooptical and Optoelectronic Devices
  • Submarine Engineering
  • Underwater Ordnance

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