Sandia National Labs FY20 LDRD Annual Report


LDRD Program Accomplishments This section highlights some LDRD program accomplishments, organized around the three themes of mission agility, technical vitality, and workforce development. These highlights are from projects that ended in FY20 or are continuing into FY21 but have already realized some significant research accomplishment. Project Highlights – Mission Agility Enabling agile responses to national security missions It takes innovative ST&E to create and enhance the capabilities needed to ensure the U.S. is ready to respond nimbly to national security mission needs. LDRD is a critical resource at the heart of what it takes to lead into the future. Magnetometer-aided navigation for hypersonic strike vehicles. GPS-denied navigation is a top concern for national security and finding a suitable alternative that is effective over featureless terrain and ocean is a priority. The accuracy of weapon systems such as hypersonic missiles is limited by their positioning capability. Sandia’s Autonomy for Hypersonics (A4H) Mission Campaign research on magnetic navigation (MagNav) leveraged the Earth’s magnetic field to determine vehicle position via high-fidelity magnetic field models, sensor fusion, and nonlinear, non-Bayesian filtering techniques. This effort resulted in the development of a realistic MagNav simulation capability – providing quantitative estimates for magnetic navigation performance over land and water, including altitude dependence. MagNav is a promising alternative navigation solution, especially when combined with other inertial measurement unit-aiding sensors. The research team is currently investigating machine learning techniques to reduce platform magnetic interference and investigating opportunities to further validate this technology. (PI: Neil Claussen)

Shown is a magnetic field anomaly as a function of position at fixed altitude of 4km height above ellipsoid. The red lines indicate two model trajectories for evaluating magnetic navigation algorithms. The south-north trajectory connects Houston and Minneapolis while the east-west trajectory joins Atlanta and Los Angeles. Along these two trajectories, the region of lowest magnetic character occurs on the coastal plain just north of Houston.



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