L-3 CyTerra to build mine-detection systems with ground-penetrating radar to find non-metallic explosives
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – U.S. Army explosives-detection experts needed handheld and vehicle-mount mine-detection systems with ground-penetrating radar able to detect buried metallic as well as non-metallic mines and other kinds of explosives. They found their solution from L-3 CyTerra in Woburn, Mass.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., announced plans this week to award a sole-source contract to L-3 CyTerra for as many as 1,800 upgrade kits to enable the AN/PSS-14 to detect non-metallic threats and near-surface buried wires.
These kits would upgrade the AN/PSS-14A and AN/PSS-14B models to the AN/PSS-14C. AN/PSS-14B is designed to locate a variety of metallic and low-metallic mines. The AN/PSS-14C is the latest model, with all the functionality of the AN/PSS-14B, but with additional functionality to detect non-metallic threats and near-surface buried wires.
The upcoming contract to L-3 CyTerra will be for 1,800 AN/PSS-14 Rev 4 to Rev 6 upgrade kits that will enable the upgrade of the AN/PSS-14 A and B models to the AN/PSS-14C. Upgrades also will enhance the system's performance, reliability, maintainability and sustainment.
The value of the upcoming contract has yet to be negotiated. The upgrade of the actual AN/PSS-14 systems will be done by personnel at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Tobyhanna, Pa.
The AN/PSS-14 handheld standoff mine detection system combines a ground-penetrating radar, sensitive metal detector, and advanced data fusion algorithms. This enables the system to detect anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, and to reject metallic clutter to lower the system's false-alarm rate. The AN/PSS-14 went into full-rate production as the Army’s standard mine detector in 2006.
The system's ground-penetrating radar is based on a wideband coherent stepped frequency radar transceiver. The search head contains one transmit and two receive antennas. The transmit antenna produces a continuous-wave low power radar signal.
As the search head passes over the ground its radar waves strike a discontinuity in the soil and reflect back to the receive antennas and to on-board signal processing.
The system's advanced metal detector coil surrounding the diameter of the sensor head creates an electromagnetic field that induces an electrical current in any metal object buried in the soil. The sensor head detects this secondary electromagnetic field and responds with an alarm.
Data fusion algorithms enable the operator to discriminate between metallic clutter and actual mines. These algorithms are based on terrain modeling using a real-time novelty methodology. As the operator advances, the terrain model updates continuously to adapt automatically to varying soil conditions.
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