Navy project officials have outfitted a “small quad-rotor drone” with “miniaturized, ultra-sensitive metal-detecting equipment,” according to Defense News.
The drone would be used to detect potential mines, whether buried, floating or underwater, and transmit their coordinates to a ground station so troops could respond. The scientists envision it as part of a “system-of-systems” approach to mine disposal, using follow-on unmanned vehicles to investigate or dismantle objects found by the flying mine-hunter.
“One of the biggest time constraints you have is a large area,” Rosemarie Yagoda, a test and evaluation scientist who deals in human-robot interaction at the Combatant Craft Division, with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, told Defense News.
“The system would detect over a preset threshold and plot a dot on a map, with latitude and longitude data,” she added. “The more passes you make on that area, the larger your dot would be [thus representing more hits] and the higher your confidence level.”