US: The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $20 million contract to develop a prototype light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system to locate mines in near-shore waters. Part of a wider development known as the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) programme, the airborne system will provide round-the-clock protection of Navy personnel as they move from ship to shore and back again.
The technology involved is being developed under Section 819 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which is aimed at the development of advanced components or prototypes. The prototype LiDAR system incorporates a fast-scanning laser, 3D imaging camera, and target recognition algorithms to locate and classify surface and underwater threats.
It will be developed at BAE Systems’ facilities in Honolulu, Hawaii; Greenlawn, New York; Acton, Massachusetts; and Hudson, New Hampshire.