Magnetic Noise Reduction in a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
The U.S. Navy has a pressing need to develop a new antisubmarine warfare (ASW) approach for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which is to replace the aging P-3C Orion fleet. Unlike the P-3C, the P-8A will not carry magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) equipment aboard the aircraft. To execute its ASW mission successfully, the P-8A must replace the detection and localization capability offered by traditional MAD. One approach is provided by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with MAD sensors. The development of compact total field magnetometers as well as air-launched Tier 1 and Tier 2 aircraft have made this approach a robust, affordable option for high altitude ASW. Still, magnetic detection from a UAV faces serious challenges. The most significant is platform noise, which is much greater in amplitude and more complex than that encountered aboard large manned aircraft such as the P-3C. Platform noise greatly dominates typical MAD signals if left uncompensated, rendering the UAV useless as a MAD platform. Arete successfully developed and tested an adaptive magnetic platform noise reduction system for small UAVs. Under this SBIR program, we will tailor these techniques to aircraft designed specifically for the P-8A and demonstrate performance in ground and flight tests.
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