Minehunter UAVs Becoming All-Purpose Hunter-Targeters
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Melbourne, FL received a $5.5 million modification to a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to add Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition and Laser Designation Functionality into the Airborne Standoff Minefield Detection System (ASTAMID) Block 1. See a release covering the original COBRA contract.
This Army system is similar to the Marine Corps Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) mine detection system in that it is mounted on a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Instead of using a multispectral video sensor, ASTAMID uses an IR sensor to detect the thermal contrast between a proud land mine and the surrounding ground, or between disturbed and undisturbed ground in the case of buried mines. It is part of the U.S. Military’s Joint Countermine Advanced Concepts Technology Demonstration (Joint Countermine ACTD), Phase I and its broader roadmap for mine countermeasures.
Work will be performed in Anaheim, Calif. (62.2%), Herndon, Va. (26.3%), and Melbourne, Fla. (11.5%), and is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2009. This was a sole source contract initiated on Oct. 29, 2004 by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Alexandria, VA (DAAB15-03-C-0013).