WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – Northrop Grumman has been selected by the Office of Naval Research to develop a new cost-effective atom-based magnetic sensor, or magnetometer, for antisubmarine warfare operations.
The highly sensitive magnetometer will be part of a magnetic anomaly detection system mounted on helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles or submarines.
Whether in the air above the ocean or underwater as part of a towed array, the magnetometer will sense disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field due to metallic objects in the vicinity, indicating a nearby submarine.
Under a three-year $1.75 million contract, Northrop Grumman is being tasked to develop a magnetometer that is smaller, lighter and more accurate than current magnetic sensor technologies. Additionally, the magnetometer’s small size will make it more affordable and efficient, consuming less power than its predecessors.
“Our new magnetic sensor will raise the bar for size, weight and power standards of atom-based magnetometers,” said Charles Volk, vice president and chief technology officer of Northrop Grumman’s Navigation Systems Division. “Additionally, the sensor’s enhanced accuracy will have major implications for national security and assist in the detection and classification of submarines.”