Magnetic Anomaly Detection to Hunt for More than Submarines
(Source: Forecast International; issued Sept 11, 2018)
NEWTOWN, Conn. --- Although some may consider it a relic of the Cold War, magnetic anomaly detection (MAD) remains a reliable tool in anti-submarine warfare. MAD systems have often been associated with submarine hunting and overlooked as a possible solution for land-based surveillance and detection. Several conflicts around the world have demonstrated the need for enhanced detection capabilities.

CAE has been evaluating the potential use of MAD technology for the detection of concealed metal objects on land. Mounted on some type of ground vehicle or unmanned air vehicle (UAV), a MAD system would be able to detect a variety of targets, such as armored vehicles or artillery.

The MAD system is capable of detecting metallic objects located behind walls, buried underground, or hidden in dense forest canopies. CAE is in the process of reducing the size, weight, and power requirements of its existing MAD system to expand its use to other applications.

The ASQ-504(V) has been replaced with the ASQ-508(V) which in turn is set to be replaced by the MAD-XR - all produced by CAE. The MAD-XR is a more compact MAD system that is smaller and lighter than the ASQ-508(V). This unit was designed with small platforms in mind, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), light helicopters, and small fixed-wing aircraft.

The MAD-XR prototype was successfully flown in 2013 and its performance matched that of the much larger ASQ-508 MAD system. Following flight testing, the MAD-XR was refined to ensure optimal design for production. MAD-XR went under qualification testing from 2015 through 2017. It is expected to be market ready sometime before the end of 2018.


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