31 May 1996 Advanced superconducting gradiometers for mine detection
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Sensors incorporating superconducting quantum interference devices provide the greatest sensitivity for magnetic anomaly detection available with current technology. During the 1980s, the Coastal Systems Station (CSS) developed a superconducting magnetic gradiometer capable of operation outside of the laboratory environment. With this sensor, the CSS was able to demonstrate buried mine detection for the U.S. Navy. Subsequently, the sensor was incorporated into a multisensor suite onboard an underwater towed vehicle to provide a robust mine hunting capability for the Magnetic and Acoustic Detection of Mines Project. This sensor using thin film niobium and a new liquid helium cooling concept was developed to provide significant increases in sensitivity and detection range. In the late 1980s, a new class of `high- Tc' superconductor were discovered with critical temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen (77 K). This advance has opened up new opportunities for mine reconnaissance and hunting, especially for operation onboard small unmanned underwater vehicles. A high-Tc sensor concept using liquid nitrogen refrigeration has been developed and a test article of that concept is currently being evaluated for its applicability to mobile operation. The design principles for the two new sensor approaches and the results of their evaluations will be described. Finally, the implications of these advances to mine reconnaissance and hunting will be discussed.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ted R. Clem, Ted R. Clem, } "Advanced superconducting gradiometers for mine detection", Proc. SPIE 2765, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets, (31 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.241230; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.241230

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