MARELEC is the world’s foremost conference on marine electromagnetics. It provides opportunity for professional scientists and engineers from many disciplines to share their experience in electromagnetic phenomena in the marine environment. The specialist conferences are given on innovative technologies applied to underwater electromagnetic surveillance, communication, vessel signature prediction and control, seafloor and sub-bottom geophysical and archaeological exploration, oceanography and more.
Being spotted by a magnetic sensor is a permanent threat for both surface ships and submarines as magnetic sensors are embedded in underwater mines to detect vessels as well as in patrol aircraft to detect submarines using MAD technology (Magnetic Anomaly Detection).
To counter this risk, navies have to know the magnetic signature of their vessels. This can be done with ranging systems.
Classical ranging facilities are underwater systems with fixed sensors or portable sensors. With a fixed system, the measurement is only done in the country of the owner meaning that the measurement is not checked on the theatre of operation where the risk is the bigger.
With a portable underwater system, it can only be done in shallow waters meaning that the vessel has to approach the danger to check its magnetic signature. To avoid this risk, ECA has developed a unique and patented solution called STERNA®.
STERNA® is an aerial portable ranging system consisting in a drone IT180 and a magnetometer embedded in one foot. The system flies above the vessel to measure its magnetic signature. The key advantages are its ability to measure vessels on the theater of operation even in open seas, easy transportation, quick deployment (15 minutes), and quick measurement (45 minutes). Total operation is performed in 1h when conventional systems require a day. The use of an aerial mobile system to perform magnetic measurements is allowed by a powerful algorithm that compensates the sensor errors and the drone magnetic disturbances on the sensor.
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