Airborne laser mine detection systems
Cassidy, Charles J.
Olsen, Richard Christopher
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Mine detection has moved to the forefront as a concern for the United States Navy. The mine threat imposed by other nations has lead to the development and evaluation of relatively fast, efficient, and effective mine detection systems. Airborne laser radar has been suggested as a possible technique for minehunting. This paper analyzes data collected from two developmental systems. These systems were tested for the purpose of exploiting shallow water regions optically. These systems were Ocean Water Lidar (OWL), developed by NAWC, Warminster, Pennsylvania, and Magic Lantern Adaptation (ML(A) ), developed by the Kaman Corporation, Bloomfield, Connecticut. The OWL system was analyzed by carefully examining each individual lidar scan from four separate system passes conducted off Eglin Air Force Base in September, 1994. Excellent bathymetry data was obtained, but the laser spot sizes used (one meter and twelve meters) precluded successful detection of mine-like objects. The ML(A) system was analyzed by carefully examining image data obtained from tests conducted off Eglin Air Force Base in December, 1994. Four hundred and sixty three images were analyzed, from which thirteen were found to contain mine-like objects. The result of this analysis was that there is a need to combine the advantageous aspects of these individual systems to develop an imaging system that takes more advantage of the benefits of range gating lidar techniques.
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