The Indonesian Navy has successfully used a STERNA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with an aerial magnetic range to evaluate the magnetic signature of a vessel.
The portable UAV solution has been used for the first time to assess the vulnerability of a ship against underwater mines and other enemy detectors.
Developed by ECA Group in 2016, the drone was deployed by the Indonesian Navy in July.
Based on the company’s IT180 unmanned airborne system, the STERNA UAV is a part of set-up degaussing systems in compliance with NATO standards.
IT180 is a compact, high-performance mini-UAV vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that integrates a magnetometer and its digitiser.
The drone enabled the Indonesian Navy to complete the measurements of the vessel’s magnetic signature in less than one hour in operational conditions.
Indonesian Ministry of Defence HAT and SAT inspector colonel Anis Kelaikan said: “Using the latest technology certainly has an impact on effectiveness and efficiency without reducing the purpose and the objective of the test, so using STERNA will be much faster than the old method and will provide us with more accurate results.”
The magnetic measurement was carried out by the mini-helicopter system using the norm of the magnetic vector instead of the three axes relatives’ components.