A few weeks later, the identity and purpose of this odd-looking contraption are now revealed, and it's quite interesting indeed. Flight International reports this week:
See DARPA's ATAEM web site here. They don't call it the Bunker Debunker yet, but here's hoping.
BAE Systems' Flight Systems division of Mojave, California has completed the design, fabrication and initial flight testing of the airborne tomography-using active electromagnetics (ATAEM) pod, the company confirms.
Flight Systems is providing the pod to BAE's Advanced Technologies business unit, which is developing the internal sensors.
The ATAEM pod is flown suspended by a helicopter and will use electromagnetic energy to penetrate the ground to detect and map hidden bunkers and tunnels, adapting technologies developed by the geophysical exploration industry. The sensor was flown suspended by cables beneath a Eurocopter AS350 over the Mojave North range for the initial flight tests.