Navy asks BAE Systems to develop airborne mine-hunting lidar for manned and unmanned aircraft

Sept. 17, 2015
WASHINGTON, 17 Sept. 2015. Electro-optics engineers at BAE Systems are designing a lidar-based multi-sensor suite and onboard processing to detect, identify, and pinpoint moored and drifting sea mines from manned and unmanned aircraft.
WASHINGTON, 17 Sept. 2015. Electro-optics engineers at BAE Systems are designing a lidar-based multi-sensor suite and onboard processing to detect, identify, and pinpoint moored and drifting sea mines from manned and unmanned aircraft.

Officials of the U.S. Office of Naval Research in Washington announced an $8.9 million contract Wednesday to BAE Systems Spectral Solutions LLC in Honolulu for the Passive Electro-Optics/Infrared and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Environment for In-stride Classification and Neutralization program.

The sensor suite will consist of a visible-to-near-infrared (VNIR) multispectral imaging sensor, a broadband longwave infrared sensor (LWIR), and a 2D light detection and ranging (lidar) sensor, Navy researchers say.

The resulting prototype will consist of two identical pods, each housing a VNIR multispectral sensor; a broadband LWIR sensor; a 2D lidar sensor; a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) laser; and control, storage, and processing electronics.

Related: Northrop Grumman to produce laser mine detection system in potential $163.6 million Navy contract

When the prototype pods are finished, BAE Systems experts will demonstrate them at a Navy test range aboard an MH-60 manned helicopter or Fire Scout unmanned helicopter that Naval Air Systems Command will provide from its headquarters at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.

lidar is a remote sensing technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser and analyzing the reflected light. Essentially lidar senses with like similarly to how radar sensors with radio waves.

This contract contains options that could increase its value to $12.3 million, Navy officials say. BAE Systems will do the work in Honolulu; Hudson, N.H.; Greenlawn, N.Y.; and Manassas, Va., and should be finished by September 2017.

BAE Systems Spectral Solutions is part of the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment based in Nashua, N.H. For more information contact BAE Systems Electronic Systems online at www.baesystems.com, or the Office of Naval Research at www.onr.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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