Navy laser mine detection now operational

The new airborne mine detection system uses blue-green laser technology and the MH-60S helicopter to perform faster mine-sweeping.

The Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) developed by Northrop Grumman for the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter has reached initial operational capability, according to Navy spokesman Alan Baribeau.  

 The ALMDS makes use of the motion of the aircraft and advanced bathymetric laser pulse technology to identify and localize mines in shallow areas, such as littoral zones and geographic choke points. 

The blue-green laser characteristic of the bathymetric version of Light Detecting and Ranging technology gives the ALMDS maximum depth penetration capabilities, said Baribeau.

According to a Defense Science Journal publication, the wavelength of the blue green laser has the unique ability to maintain about 50 percent of its radiation intensity when penetrating ocean water.

Blue-green lasers emit wavelengths of about 450 to 550nm, according to a report by the Australian Defense Force, with wavelengths closer to 550 nm used for more opaque water, and shorter wavelengths used to penetrate clearer water.

The ALMDS pulsed blue-green laser emits a wavelength of about 510nm, which allows it to operate in a depth of up to 200 meters. As stated in publications from the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, the system subtracts the time between the reflections of the laser beams that bounce off of the water’s surface and the reflections of laser beams that penetrate the surface in order to calculate depth and orientation.

Also notable, the ALMDS is an entirely self-contained airborne system.

“ALMDS is an optical system flown over the water, not towed through it. This enables the helicopter to conduct mine detection operations at greater speeds. This speed, combined with the laser's wide swath, delivers a high area coverage rate,” explained Baribeau.

This is possible because of its installation on MH-60S helicopters. Originally too small to carry mine detection equipment, the MH-60S can now lend its speed and precision to the Navy’s mine countermeasure (MCM) efforts with the help of the Carriage, Stream, Tow, and Recovery System (CSTRS).

The CSTRS consists of a winch and an external carrier port attached to the MH-60S and is part of the Navy’s initial Organic Airborne Countermeasure program, which was created to help integrate airborne laser mine detection with carrier battle and expeditionary strike groups.

Early this year, the first MH-60S helicopters equipped with the ALMDS passed flight capability testing, and now the system has reached initial operation as part of the MCM force.

“The ALMDS system has been designed to enhance the Airborne MCM capability of the overall US Navy MCM effort…The information collected [will] be combined with all other MCM efforts in the operational area to provide the Combatant Commander with the best situational awareness possible to inform their decisions,” the Navy official told Defense Systems.

Although the ALMDS has not yet reached full-scale deployment, the Navy states that it is available to combatant commanders for tasking.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.