By Sabrina Matteucci
Modern minehunting techniques and the MCM EXPERT software. NURC-FR-2006-011. April 2006.
Side-scan sonars are increasingly being used to perform detection and classification in minehunting operations. The current NATO Mine Countermeasures (MCM) software tool, MCM EXPERT, provides support for the planning and evaluation of minehunting operations, but was developed for MCM units having forward-looking sonar. The NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) has initiated a project to provide the capability to accurately plan and evaluate minehunting operations using side-scan sonars and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). As part of this project, a complete review of the MCM EXPERT algorithms was undertaken in order to evaluate their applicability to modern minehunting systems using AUVs and side-scan sonars. Based on a review of the current algorithms, the NURC have provided a set of interim recommendations for the use of MCM EXPERT with side-scan sonars. Certain pre-conditions, which have been documented in this report, must be met for MCM EXPERT to be used to plan and evaluate minehunting missions using side-scan sonars. In addition, limitations in the accuracy of the results obtained when using MCM EXPERT for side-scan sonar are stated.