Atlas Elektronik has set a milestone in mine countermeasures (MCM) technology. With the C-IMCMS, the company has presented another first: a modular and platform-independent MCM system that operates exclusively with unmanned units.
For the first time, the complete functional chain of unmanned mine countermeasures - both for minehunting and for influence sweeping - was demonstrated by means of remote-controlled or autonomous systems. The missions of all vehicles used were planned, monitored and evalu-ated from a container-based command and weapon control system.
The C-IMCMS (Containerised Integrated Mine Countermeasures System) consists of a port-able combat management system as well as the analysis software CLASSIPHI for post mis-sion analysis of side-scan sonar data, the unmanned surface vessel (USV) FAST, the autono-mous underwater vehicle (AUV) SeaOtter Mk II and the mine disposal system (ROV) SeaFox. The system was deployed from the shore; operations on board various ship types are also possible.
Atlas Elektronik tested and demonstrated the innovative system at the company's own test site at Bincleaves, Weymouth on south coast of England. Representatives from Germany, Great Britain, Canada, the USA, Belgium, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Thailand took part. The company is also planning to demonstrate the system on board a ship.
Antoni Mazur, Managing Director of Atlas Elektronik UK, said: "This demonstration once again underlines the technology leadership of Atlas Elektronik, also in the field of mine countermeasures - leadership which Atlas will continue to expand and extend over corpo-rate locations and national borders."
The FAST (Flexible Agile Sweeping Technology) USV was developed by Atlas Elektronik UK to carry out acoustic and magnetic influence sweeping, in which a towed body is used to emulate the corresponding signatures of a ship and thus cause the mines to detonate.
For this demonstration, the SeaOtter Mk II AUV was equipped with a high-resolution side-scan sonar. In addition, it can be fitted with other mission payloads, including a powerful MCM syn-thetic aperture sonar.
From the C-IMCMS command container, a mission was generated and transferred to the SeaOtter Mk II. The vehicle then carried out this mission completely autonomously, delivering the required sonar data.
During the post-mission analysis with the CLASSIPHI software, several contacts were de-tected. One of them was classified as a mine-like object.
A mission was then generated for the SeaFox vehicle. SeaFox was developed by Atlas Elektronik to be a "one-shot mine disposal vehicle" and is now in service with many navies all over the world. SeaFox is deployed by these customers from naval vessels as well as heli-copters for the identification and combating of mines.
Within the scope of the demonstration, SeaFox was for the first time remote-controlled from the container through a combination a radio link to the FAST USV and a fibre-optic cable from FAST USV to Seafox. Both sonar and video data captured by SeaFox were transmitted in real-time via radio link.
The demonstrator was financed exclusively through own research funding of Atlas Elektronik GmbH and Atlas Elektronik UK.