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.
© Alan Radecki
The ATAEM project is sponsored by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Strategic Technology Office and the US Air Force Research Laboratory, which awarded a contract worth more than $8.2 million to BAE Systems Electronics and Integrated Solutions in 2007 to develop and demonstrate a proof-of-concept system.
BAE says the project is part of the company's "borderless effort", which enables various business units to work more efficiently with each other.