Army chooses Carnegie Robotics to develop mine-hunting sensor payloads for ground robots
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J., 10 Sept. 2014. U.S. Army counter-mine experts are choosing Carnegie Robotics LLC in Pittsburgh to develop the unmanned ground vehicle (UGV)-mounted Autonomous Mine Detection System (AMDS) to detect, mark, and neutralize explosive hazards.
Officials of the Army Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal, Ala., announced a $22.8 million contract to Carnegie Robotics this week to develop a prototype UGV-based mine-detection sensor suite that can find buried anti-personnel mines.
The Army Contracting Command awarded the contract on behalf of Project Manager for Close Combat Systems (PM CCS) and the Product Manager, Counter Explosive Hazard (PdM CEH), at Picatinny Arsenal.
Carnegie Robotics experts will design and build several AMDS prototype mine-detection sensor suites and mount them to a government-furnished TALON IV tracked UGV from QinetiQ North America in Reston, Va., which the Army calls the man-transportable robotic system (MTRS).
The AMDS consists of a suite of three payload modules to be deployed on an MTRS unmanned vehicle. In addition to the prototypes, Carnegie Robotics eventually may be asked to build 16 AMDS systems and related maintenance as contract options.
The three mine-detection sensors involved in the Army Carnegie Robotics AMDS project are the mine detection and marking payload module; the explosive hazards detection and marking payload module; and the neutralization payload module.
The mine detection and marking payload module remotely detects and marks surface-laid and buried metallic and low-metallic antitank and antipersonnel land mines and scatterable munitions. The explosive hazards detection and marking payload module remotely detects and marks surface laid, partially buried. and camouflaged explosive hazards. The neutralization payload module, meanwhile, remotely neutralizes surface laid, buried and camouflaged explosive hazards.
In recent years, L-3 CyTerra in Orlando, Fla., and NIITEK in Dulles, Va., have developed complementary senor suites using ground-penetrating radar and electromagnetic induction sensors. Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA) in Albuquerque, N.M., also has been involved in AMDS sensor development. The AMDS program also is working with industry and academia to develop automatic target recognition (ATR) algorithms.
On this contract Carnegie Robotics will do the work in Woburn, Mass; King of Prussia, Pa.; and Pittsburgh, and should be finished by March 2018.