This paper describes a day/night real time reconnaissance system developed around a CW gallium arsenide laser. The system was designed to be compatible with RF-4 and RPV environment and mission profiles. This system has been flight tested and typical imagery is included.
A system for real time wide angle reconnaissance from low flying, high performance aircraft is described. The system combines a multiple lens - linear CCD array, airborne sensor head, an air to ground data link; and a ground based, dry silver film, laser beam recording system that produces hard copy imagery on the ground within 30 seconds of data acquisition.
This paper describes the AN/AAD-5 infrared reconnaissance sensor, a high performance line scanner which was developed by the HRC under USAF Systems Command funding for use in tactical aircraft like the Phantom II RF4. A brief history of the development cycle is given, followed by discussions of some of the technical and program problems encountered during the system design and the preproduction phases. The current production status of the AN/AAD-5 is then discussed and samples of the hard copy output from the sensor are shown. The entire paper is unclassified.
Mission requirements for mini RPV's are given which set the boundary conditions for electro-optical sensor operation. Sensor performance goals are postulated and from these objectives a class of sensor is identified. These include high performance thermal imaging and silicon television as well as more austere intensified solid state imagers and pyroelectric vidicons. Current development status and improvements for these devices is forecast. Finally some system design features are given for various stabilization schemes.
IMFRAD is a basically new airborne reconnaissance sensor which is particularly effective in the detection of tactical targets concealed in foliage or located in open terrain. Operating at long radar wavelengths, IMFRAD is inherently a low data rate system which generates real-time imagery in a rectified format, making it ideally suited for automatic data interpretation, automatic change detection, and automatic cueing of high resolution sensors. Because of its ability to penetrate foliage, IMFRAD significantly increases the probability of target acquisition in realistic scenarios, and, in addition, improves aircraft survivability by allowing the use of low risk flight profiles.
The evolution of electro-optical sensors has caused a quiet revolution in the imaging of low-contrast objects. In a practical sense, even the term "low-contrast" has required redefinition, since contrast ratios such as 1.6:1, which was the official "low-contrast" for photographic systems, no longer qualify as "low" for electro-optical systems which, by means of precise D.C. level background subtraction, can operate in the domain of contrast ratios around 1.01:1 and below. Since a contrast ratio such as 1.01:1 is below the contrast resolution threshold of the eye, the invisible can literally be made visible. This paper reports upon some of the fundamental constraints placed by nature on the development of such low-contrast imaging systems. It further describes the evolution of the specifications for an advanced technology Time Delay and Integration (TD I ) type of area imagery Charge Coupled Device (CCD) which is being developed to meet present and future needs for this type of electro-optical sensor system.
A remote viewing system is described which does not require a large bandwidth to generate a large field of view at eye-limited resolution. By maching the display to the requirement of human vision over the instantaneous field of v'ew bandwidth savings up to 500:1 can be realized. An extreme aspheric foveal sensor and projection lens was developed which can support a remote viewing link with a FOV of 160 degrees at a bandwidth of 4 MHz. A brassboard demonstration model has been fabricated uneer contract with ONR containing a real display. Also within a 9 foot diameter dome a di -ct view display has been developed under contract with AFAL. Preliminary design of an infra ed version of tie foveal lens shows the feasibility of using this Variable Acuity Remote Viewing System (VARVS) in the 8-14 μ region.
Recent advances in microwave radiometric (MICRAD) technology, particularly in millimeter wave components, now allow MICRAD imagers to provide a useful reconnaissance capability. The characteristics of these systems make them ideally suited, for real-time reconnaissance. This paper describes an experimental real-time reconnaissance system implemented by the Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, Calif. It describes the image interpretation techniques used for MICRAD imagery. The paper also describes an advanced, pod-mounted version of the experimental imager unHer development for the Naval Weapons Center by Rockwell International.
A variety of new and significantly improved reconnaissance sensors are evolving from advanced development programs. The time has come to combine these individual capabilities into a tactical reconnaissance operation which includes an effective near realtime capability. A generic approach to near realtime reconnaissance is described which employs several airborne sensors and includes both airborne and ground data management devices and procedures. Automatic data processing and extensive use of pre-existing information help minimize the amount of irrelevant data presented to human observers. The human observer represents the final and essential filtering agent required to reduce the information data rate to a level suitable for dissemination over jam resistant data links for rapid access to tactical commanders.
The USAF is conducting a feasibility demonstration of combining existing and newly developed reconnaissance sensors on an RF-4 aircraft to provide a real/near real-time reconnaissance capability. The components that make up the entire QSR system are the sensor aircraft, a relay aircraft, a ground station, a command post, and strike aircraft. The typical QSR mission will be flown at night or in poor weather at low altitude and high speed and be directed at flying over time-sensitive targets whose position or approximate position was previously known. This report describes the sensors integrated on the RF-4 aircraft, their interactions, and the amount of modification required to each to provide a real-time reconnaissance capability. A discussion is provided that describes the operational factors that influence the system design and the importance of crew work load in the design of the control display systems. Pictures of the systems and control panels are provided to illustrate the magnitude and complexity of the integration task. The intent of the paper is to emphasis the requirement that when new sensors are developed consideration for interaction with other sensors must be given in the initial design phase. Only then will total sensor capability be realized.
The Target Screener/FLIR System and its performance are discussed in this paper. The Autoscreener (Augmented Target Screener Subsystem, ATSS*) was designed and built by Honeywell for the Air Force in 1974. This system operated on imagery data from an AAS-27 sensor. detected man-made objects (MMOs), and cued the operator by displaying a symbol at each sector area containing MMOs. It achieved 92 percent probability of detection of MMOs and less than 3 percent probability of false alarm. The Autoscreener was modified to accept FUR imagery and its feasibility in detecting MMOs and cueing the FLIR operator was evaluated. The Autoscreener/FLIR system performance was evaluated. The system achieved 95 percent probability of detection with 5 percent probability of false alarm.
The Reconnaissance Reporting Facility Exploitation Shelter is the ground facility for the real time exploitation of data-linked infrared imagery. It is being developed by the Rome Air Development Center in support of the Quick Strike Reconnais'sance Program. The integration of off-the-shelf equipment and technology will provide the capability to rapidly detect, identify, and generate reports for tactical, time-sensitive targets. Target reports will be immediately transmitted to strike decision makers. Exploitation in the real time environment is accomplished in a "production-line" fashion. One interpreter or set of interpreters is assigned responsibility for target detection only. Detection interpreters cue identification interpreters to specific segments of imagery for the detailed target identification and report generation. Future research and development efforts applicable to the real time exploitation environment are automatic target cueing and visual image enhancements for target detection and identification. Work in these. areas should emphasize improving the speed and accuracy of target detection and reporting.
The highly mobile nature of today's and tomorrow's warfare requires that the photo interpreter receive image reconnaissance information in seconds, not hours. The emerging elec-tronic sensors provide video signals reporting images of the target area, which can be data linked. However, to maintain the high resolution a fast hard copy image generator is required to very rapidly present the photo-image to the photo interpreter for evaluation of target information. The Tactical Laser Beam Recorder (TLBR) described herein meets this need using dry silver film and innovative data processing/electro-optic techniques. The dry silver film requires only heat processing, with no chemical or other support logistics. With the newly developed film processor used in this equipment, delays in getting the image are only 30 seconds at nominal V/H. The TLBR allows for variable speed operation and automatically scales with V/H received from the aircraft. The design is rugged to allow for van operations and transportability. It is free from constant tuning and alignment, operable by a photo interpreter with cassette loading for complete daylight operation. This paper will describe the operational reconnaissance system scenario and the Tactical Laser Beam Recorder's application to it. The equipment's performance will be described as well as its operating parameters. The general configuration, its relationship to the photo interpreter's location, and the image configuration with associated data will be described. Second generation samples of the dry silver film performance will be shown.
Near Real Time Image Interpretation is a mode of image interpretation we will be encountering with the advent of data link imagery. This mode of interpretation will nave a significant effect on the deployment reconnaissance system and how the results of their interpretation can be used by the appropriate commander. The flexibility of data link imagery permits the distribution of raw imagery to a number of separate locations so that detection, identification and location can be done by sensor, by task or problem, by target category or by any other classification. Because of this flexibility this collection management and exploitation management heretofore separate entities must now be treated together. The overall impact of data imagery and the inforced need for near real-time interpretation is forcing us to re-evaluate the total reconnaissance problem.
This paper describes the design and application of a digital processor for the automatic recognition of targets in reconnaissance images and for the precise registration of two images of the same terrain area. The problems of information extraction and bandwidth reduction in raw sensor data are considered and how they lead to the evolution of a common preprocessing approach. Three applications of the preprocessed data are then examined; (1) automatic cueing of targets in sensor displays, (2) automatic registration between images to update navigation systems or to correct image geometry, and (3) detection of the changes between image sequences. The paper concludes with a discussion of the combined use of recognition and registration functions in targeting problems.
The QRC 76-01 system consists of one RF-4C Side Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) data link aircraft, a ground tracking and film processing station, and a SLAR film exploitation station. This system deployed to Zweibrucken Air Base, Germany, to participate in US and NATO exercises held in September 1976. Eight data link SLAR sorties were flown during the exercises, resulting in 145 target reports; 57 targets were found and reported to tactical decision makers in less than one hour from initial detection, and 75 targets in less than two hours. Limited data confirmed the simulated destruction of 19 targets by such weapons as F-111 and F-4 aircraft, artillery and ground missiles. The data link SLAR system proved most successful, with significant advantages over non-data link SLAR: large reduction in time to acquire and report tactical tar-gets; increased battle field coverage; greater flexibility in the location of ground processing equipment and aircraft staging areas; and more effective fusing with collateral intelligence. As a result of the QRC 76-01 demonstration, a number of improvements in areas such as Communications, Command and Control may be required.
Performance of real time reconnaissance from an airborne platform is limited by some very basic and simple relationships. This paper quantifies these parametrics and shows that limitations imposed by human performance far exceed those of state of the sensors and interpretation equipment. The results clearly illustrate the need for cueing and effective data management regardless of where image interpretation is performed.
The RF-15 reconnaissance derivative of the F-15 Eagle is being studied by McDonnell Douglas for consideration by the USAF as the next generation tactical reconnaissance aircraft. The design studies, based on the two-seat version of the F-15, show that state of the art technology will support the development of an RF-15 which satisfies current tactical reconnaissance requirements for timeliness, accuracy, all weather-day/night operations and survivability. The basic sensor/avionics suite includes high resolution multimode radar, an EO/laser designator set, voice, digital and video communication systems, inertial/common grid navigation system and a data/sensor management set. Mission flexibility and growth provisions are provided by conformal pallets which will accommodate combinations of conventional and special purpose sensors and fuel. The study effort is currently entering a simulation phase to develop and evaluate data/sensor management system concepts and to provide a data base for system design and hardware specification.
The purpose of the panel discussion was to allow an exchange of ideas between the members of the group; a "give and take" session. Questions to the panel were both written submissions and questions from the floor. A transcript of the session is not available; however, a summary of the questions and the panelists major responses is provided below.