Airborne EO imagery, including wideband, hyperspectral, and multispectral modalities, has greatly enhanced the ability
of the ISR community to detect and classify various targets of interest from long standoff distances and with large area
coverage rates. The surf zone is a dynamic environment that presents physical and operational challenges to effective
remote sensing with optical systems. In response to these challenges, BAE Systems has developed the Tactical Multi-spectral
(TACMSI) system. The system includes a VNIR six-band multispectral sensor and all other hardware that is
used to acquire, store and process imagery, navigation, and supporting metadata on the airborne platform. In
conjunction with the hardware, BAE Systems has innovative data processing methods that exploit the inherent
capabilities of multi-look framing imagery to essentially remove the overlying clutter or obscuration to enable EO
visualization of the objects of interest.
BAE Systems Sensor Systems Identification & Surveillance (IS) has developed, under contract with the Office of Naval
Research, a multispectral airborne sensor system and processing algorithms capable of detecting mine-like objects in the
surf zone and land mines in the beach zone. BAE Systems has used this system in a blind test at a test range established
by the Naval Surface Warfare Center - Panama City Division (NSWC-PCD) at Eglin Air Force Base. The airborne and
ground subsystems used in this test are described, with graphical illustrations of the detection algorithms. We report on
the performance of the system configured to operate with a human operator analyzing data on a ground station. A
subsurface (underwater bottom proud mine in the surf zone and moored mine in shallow water) mine detection capability
is demonstrated in the surf zone. Surface float detection and proud land mine detection capability is also demonstrated.
Our analysis shows that this BAE Systems-developed multispectral airborne sensor provides a robust technical
foundation for a viable system for mine counter-measures, and would be a valuable asset for use prior to an amphibious
Science & Technology International (STI) has developed, under contract with the Office of Naval Research, a system of multispectral airborne sensors and processing algorithms capable of detecting mine-like objects in the surf zone. STI has used this system to detect mine-like objects in a littoral environment as part of blind tests at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Panama City, Florida. The airborne and ground subsystems are described. The detection algorithm is graphically illustrated. We report on the performance of the system configured to operate without a human in the loop. A subsurface (underwater bottom proud mine in the surf zone and moored mine in shallow water) mine detection capability is demonstrated in the surf zone, and in shallow water with wave spillage and foam. Our analysis demonstrates that this STI-developed multispectral airborne mine detection system provides a technical foundation for a viable mine counter-measures system for use prior to an amphibious assault.
Science and Technology International (STI) has developed a six-band multispectral imager optimized for surf-zone reconnaissance and mine countermeasures (MCM). Airborne surf-zone MCM requires both accurate spectral imaging and high spatial resolution. Vibration and aircraft motion degrade the image quality. However weight, volume and power constraints preclude stabilized operation of the cameras. Thus, the MTF needs to be measured in flight to insure it meets the resolution requirements. We apply the slanted-edge MTF method to the in-flight characterization of airborne high-resolution cameras, analyzing images of orthogonal slanted edges to estimate the motion and vibration contributions to the MTF, and show that the system exceeds the resolution requirements for surf-zone MCM. We also develop a methodology for scaling to other altitudes and speeds, and show that the system will perform well throughout its operational envelope. The slanted-edge method is more accurate and reproducible than the alternative of placing MTF bar targets under the aircraft flight path. Further, the slanted-edge targets are easier to deploy and recover, and ease the navigation tolerances.