Advanced Multi-Sensor Array System (AMAS)
SBIR FY03.2 Topic A03-010
Department of Defense (DoD)/ARMY - Armaments RD&E Center (ARDEC)

The entire solicitation may be viewed at

A03-010 TITLE: Advanced Multi-Sensor Array System (AMAS)

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes, Sensors, Weapons


OBJECTIVE: Design, build, and test an Advanced Multi-sensor Array System (AMAS) using innovative noise reduction techniques, wherein magnetometer array sensor data is fused with acoustic array sensor data. AMAS shall detect and track ferromagnetic vehicles at very long range.

DESCRIPTION: During the last three years, the Army has been developing short-baseline solid-state magnetometer array (magnetic gradiometer) sensor systems for the real-time detection and tracking of armored vehicles. Since development has been focused on applications to anti-tank landmines (area denial), magnetometer array dimensions (baseline) have been constrained to match the outer dimensions of landmines.

This developmental experience has shown that the maximum detection and tracking ranges of short-baseline solid-state magnetometer array sensor systems are severely limited by noise. If detection and tracking ranges of landmine-sized magnetic gradiometers are to be significantly increased, it is imperative that innovative noise reduction techniques be explored, such as: low-noise electronics, real-time noise suppression signal processing, and post-deployment array baseline expansion. Recent experiments have also shown that when target data from a simple and inexpensive acoustic array sensor system are fused with magnetic gradiometry, not only can more accurate and more reliable real-time tracking performance be obtained, but also detection and tracking ranges can be extended.

AMAS shall significantly increase the maximum detection and tracking ranges of short-baseline magnetic gradiometers by incorporating innovative noise reduction techniques and data fusion with an inexpensive and simple acoustic array. AMAS magnetometers shall all be low-cost solid-state magnetometers.

When AMAS is eventually militarized and inserted into a munition, it will be completely self-contained (in the pre-deployed state) within the munition; however, for this SBIR, AMAS shall have all non-deployed components (except for its laptop computer operator console and power supply, as will be described) inside a vertical cylinder, five inches in radius and ten inches in height.

AMAS shall perform real-time detection and tracking, at 15 - 20 samples per second, of a main battle tank (MBT) moving at 60 kilometers per hour in the horizontal plane. MBTs of interest are those that the US Army may encounter in future battles; however, for the purposes of this SBIR effort, this MBT shall be defined to be an M1 Abrams. The AMAS magnetic gradiometer alone (without acoustic data fusion) shall: detect a moving MBT at a range of 60 meters; and track it (in range and bearing) up to a maximum range of 30 meters, with RMS tracking errors of plus or minus 15 degrees in bearing, and plus or minus 15 % in range. AMAS (with acoustic data fusion) shall: detect a moving MBT up to a maximum range of 300 meters; and track it up to a maximum range of 60 meters, with RMS tracking errors of plus or minus 3 degrees in bearing, and plus or minus 10 % in range. In addition, the AMAS shall estimate the target's magnetic moment vector with an accuracy of plus or minus 10 percent.

The reference coordinate system to be used in all measurements, calculations, and data inputs/outputs is the X, Y, Z coordinate system; where X is the north direction component, Y is the east direction component, and Z is the downward vertical direction component.

The AMAS shall be operated from a laptop computer operator console. Via this console, the AMAS operator shall be able to: start/stop data collection; select all AMAS modes of operation; select all AMAS parameters; initiate target-tracking algorithms (in both real-time and post-processing modes); display the target track and estimated target magnetic moment vector; and record all sensor data and tracking data.

The electrical power source of AMAS shall be dual mode: internal battery power, able to fully power AMAS for up to eight hours without recharging; and external power, able to utilize commercially available 115 volt/60 Hz electrical power. Battery recharging circuits shall be part of AMAS.

PHASE I: Develop the AMAS design. Perform all experiments required to show that the design shall meet the specified AMAS performance requirements for detecting and tracking the MBT. Specify all components. Specify all component performance parameters. Show origin of all component performance parameters by internal experiment reports, by published papers, by journal articles, etc. Analyze all sources of noise, including sensors, electronic circuits, and geomagnetic, to determine the resultant RMS noise to be expected in individual magnetometer outputs. Analyze the AMAS design to show that all performance requirements will be met.

PHASE II: Develop a prototype of the AMAS system.

PHASE III DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: AMAS would have wide utility in civilian applications such as: homeland security applications including perimeter protection, airport security, and firearms detection; archeological surveying; and de-mining (UXO) applications.

(1) W. Michael Wynn, "Detection, Localization, and characterization of Static Magnetic-Dipole Sources," in "Detection and Identification of Visually Obscured Targets," edited by Carl E. Baum, published by Taylor & Francis, 1999.

(2) Czipott, Peter V.; Perry, Alexander R.; Whitecotten, Brian R.; Dalichaouch, Yacine; Walsh, David O.; and Kinasewitz, Robert T.; "Magnetic Detection and Tracking of Military Vehicles," 2001 Meeting of the MSS Specialty Group on Battlefield Acoustic and Seismic Sensing, Magnetic and Electric Field Sensors, 23 October 2001, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD.

KEYWORDS: Sensors, magnetics, acoustics, landmines, UXO detection, sensor fusion, tensor magnetic gradiometry, tracking algorithms, signal processing, noise-suppression algorithms, and magnetometers

Questions about SBIR and Solicitation Topics


Dr. Robert Kinasewitz

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