Mitcham Industries announced that its Klein Marine Systems unit recently delivered the first micro-MA-X (μMA-X SystemTM) in support of US Navy Next Generation Small-Class Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) evaluation sponsored by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). DIU is a defence organization focused exclusively on fielding and scaling commercial technology across the U.S. military to help solve critical problems.
The μMA-X system is the first in a series of new imaging products based on Klein’s previously announced MA- XTM technology and designed for both commercial and military unmanned vehicle markets. The reduced size and power requirements of the μMA-X system make it an ideal payload for the rapidly growing UUV market. MA-X technology represents a high-quality, cost-effective nadir imaging solution that has long been sought by the industry.
Traditional side-scan sonar imaging creates a nadir gap directly under the path of the vehicle. The μMA-X system fills that gap when paired with conventional side scan, eliminating the need for additional time for overlapping survey lines to achieve 100% coverage. For UUVs, this translates into extended mission duration, or shorter time to cover the same area. One of the key discriminators of the μMA-X, particularly for the defence sector, is the ability to produce high-quality imagery of the nadir area that is comparable to the traditional side-scan images. This allows for the data acquired by the system to be fed directly into existing automatic target recognition (ATR) software, allowing for automated detection and recognition of targets of interest.
“The μMA-X system is the result of a fast-tracked, internally-funded development, and we are very excited to have the US Navy evaluate its effectiveness for the Maritime Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Undersea Vehicle programme,” said Guy Malden, co-CEO of Mitcham. “We consider the U.S. Navy to be an excellent reference customer and our team has worked hard to meet their expectations.”