HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BAE Systems has been awarded a $20 million contract to develop an advanced prototype system that detects mines and obstacles in near-shore waters for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. As part of the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) program, the laser-based airborne system will provide 24-hour capability to ensure our troops’ safe transition from ship to shore.
“This program will help save lives, and to us there is no better reward than providing technology to help protect those who put themselves in harm’s way while serving our nation,” said Reid Noguchi, general manager of BAE Systems Spectral Solutions. “Having conducted extensive research and development in advanced sensors, airborne prototype systems, and sophisticated real time software, BAE Systems has worked closely with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to mature the technologies and capabilities to meet the Navy’s mine countermeasures needs on an accelerated timeline.”
These technologies are being prototyped under Section 819 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is aimed at the development of advanced components or prototypes, according to Brian Almquist, program officer in the ONR Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department. “This law helps to reduce acquisition costs and also accelerates delivery of technology to the fleet to protect our sailors and marines from this prolific threat,” Almquist said.
BAE Systems’ prototype uses Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to determine the distance to an object or surface. LIDAR is similar to radar, but uses laser pulses instead of radio waves and has the ability to collect images at a high resolution through the sea surface, allowing small underwater objects to be detected. The prototype system incorporates a fast-scanning laser, 3D imaging camera, and target recognition algorithms to locate and classify surface and underwater threats.
The COBRA program leverages BAE Systems’ borderless approach to harness key resources in design, integration, and testing. The work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Honolulu, Hawaii; Greenlawn, New York; Acton, Massachusetts; and Hudson, New Hampshire.
BAE Systems specializes in end-to-end system development, airborne remote sensing, and real-time target recognition capabilities for the Department of Defense, with subject matter experts in ocean sciences, mine warfare, and anti-submarine warfare.