The Electronic Solid State Wide Angle Camera System (ESSWACS) is a real time, high resolution, multi-lens sensor capable of producing wide angle (1400) imagery for high speed/low altitude tactical reconnaissance missions. Five separate lenses, each with its own Charge Coupled Device (CCD) array, collect image data from sectors of the 140° scene; some airborne processing is done to transmit data through an airborne data link. A ground station processor abuts the adjacent lens signals and prints hard copy reconnaissance products through a Tactical Laser Beam Recorder (TLBR). The ESSWACS flight test program consisted of 20 flights over MIL STD 150-A resolution targets and some representative tactical targets. The objectives of the test program were to demonstrate the design concepts under selected V/H and illumination conditions, and to gather knowledge in quantifying future CCD systems.
For photo-reconnaissance aircraft to survive in the future, long range oblique photography and high altitude photography are two modes presently being considered that will require cameras to have very long focal length lens. In addition, these cameras will have higher resolution than today's. With some existing cameras, unexpected changes in performance of the optical system have been observed due to changes in the local environment. Since focus control becomes more critical with higher resolution cameras, degradation will be more severe. Therefore, to retain optimum resolution under adverse environmental conditions, these cameras must have a more accurate form of focus control. Several methods have been developed but all have their limitations, especially when dealing with radial thermal gradients. This paper describes a unique focusing compensation system that is not only very accurate and capable of detecting rapid focus changes but also requires minimum modification to existing systems. The developed system uses a laser measurement system along with environmental sensors and a micro-computer to generate a focus correction for changes in radial thermal gradients, external temperature and range.
The KA-99A, F-924 and KA-112A are members of the newest family of panoramic reconnaissance film cameras developed by Fairchild. Their focal lengths of 9, 24 and 72 inches, respectively, are appropriate for high acuity photographic systems operation over the complete range of photographic missions including low, medium and high altitude as well as long range standoff operations. The entire family is adaptable to both present and future aircraft. Configuration flexibility is a significant feature of these cameras. The optical barrel, which is a characteristic of the split-scan design, provides an ideal form factor for installation in both aircraft and pods. The KA-99A and F-924 are compatible with the TARPS pod, and the KA-1 12A is part of the Fairchild LO RAP camera/pod system which is adaptable to many aircraft. It is presently flying on the Mirage III. The KA-99A is being produced under contract with the U.S. Navy, while the F-924 was developed as a company-sponsored project. The KA-1 12A systems have been delivered to a foreign government. All of the cameras use the same 5-inch film cassette and have many common subassemblies and parts. The KA-99A and F-924 provide 180° scan across the line of flight, while the KA-112A scans through 30° from the horizon on either the port or starboard side. The F-924 also operates in selectable sector scan modes. All of the cameras incorporate automatic exposure control, forward motion compensation, and focus compensation.
Standard Navy aerial film cameras can provide a vehicle for effective, low cost, early introduction of limited near real time imagery for routine Navy reconnaissance and surveillance. Compatibility, limitations and potential for achieving sufficient performance levels are discussed as well as some physical integration concepts.
This paper examines the processes which must successfully operate if a targeting/weapons delivery system is to be viable. A review of the steps which are included in the existing reconnaissance/intelligence (I); command, control and communications (C3), and targeting activities are examined to show where they may be improved. A proposal is then made which focuses on how an integrated targeting/weapons delivery system might be structured which would be capable of handling the number of targets and surviving in the environment expected in the European Theater.
Most military ADAS equipment are required to annotate film per MIL-STD-782 which defines the +3 (excess three) BCD code block format. This coded standard and the recently established alpha-numeric format are illustrated and explained in the paper. Data inputs for inclusion in these formats have evolved from the mostly analog types to the mostly digital form used in the most recent Sensor Control/Data Display System developed for the Navy Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS). The basic annotation functional interface requirements are defined. Annotation devices have predominantly used CRT's; however, fixed geometry devices such as LEDs have been developed and are briefly compared with the CRT devices. Auxiliary inputs and outputs such as tape interfaces and data link outputs are briefly discussed. Sensor control functions such as cycle rates and FAICs are usually included with the ADAS functions today. Future systems utilizing two way communications with navigational computers will include, transmission of control and status parameters to and from all sensors in the reconnaissance system through a single interface to the ADAS.
The RF-4B is a U. S. Marine Corps aircraft which has the specific mission of conducting aerial reconnaissance missions in support of Fleet Marine Corps and U. S. Navy operations. The RF-4B has been in service for approximately 10 years, and consequently has used up most of its originally planned service life. The Sensor Update Refurbishment Effort (SURE) will extend the aircraft service life into the early 1990's and will additionally improve its mission capability through replacement of obsolescent avionics systems. Accordingly, the SURE program is comprised of two basic efforts: The incorporation of state-of-the-art reconnaissance/navigation/communications systems; and refurbishment of the aircraft (rewiring, cor-rosion elimination, and basic structural integrity improvements).
The AN/APD-10 Sidelooking Airborne Reconnaissance Radar is a high resolution, coherent synthetic aperture system which records the Doppler phase histories of terrain features and fixed and moving targets illuminated by the transmitted radar beam. Imagery can be obtained from high and low altitudes, over a wide range of aircraft speeds, in daylight or darkness and under all weather conditions. The reconnaissance data is initially recorded on 241 mm-wide continuous photographic film which is subsequently processed in a ground-based optical correlator-processor to produce a photographic strip map which resembles that obtained with aerial cameras. Of particular significance is the fact that the radar imagery can be obtained at ranges of up to 94 kilometers to either side of the aircraft flight path, permitting acquisition of vital reconnaissance data without violating political borders.
The LORAP, Long Range Aerial Panoramic photographic system, is the latest addition to a total panoramic camera system development by Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation. The LORAP system program consists of the KA-112A panoramic camera, pod, pylon, cockpit control, aircraft modification, AGE (pod/camera handling and electronic test equipment), handbooks, training, spares, and field service. The LORAP is designed to provide long range side looking high acuity panoramic photography taken from aboard present or future high performance aircraft. The camera subsystem design utilizes an F/5.6, 72 inch focal length lens mounted within a lightweight graphite epoxy lens barrel. The panoramic design utilizes the "split-scan" principle and affords image motion compensation, automatic roll, pitch, and yaw correction, automatic slant range focus, and manual pressure/temperature focus. The pod subsystem permits installation on multiple types of aircraft and affords inflight-selectable starboard or port sector scanning from the horizon down to a 36° depression angle on either side of the flight path. The airborne LORAP System follows a total system concept from conceptual design through operational use. Several systems have been delivered and the associated airborne and ground support hardware, software, logistic support equipment and trained personnel have been established "on site" through the participation of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation personnel assisted by Lockheed Aircraft Services.
Itek Corporation and Bell-Northern Research, Ltd. report here on the development of a 10,240 X 96 pixel CCD imaging focal plane for reconnaissance purposes. The focal plane is assembled using hybrid techniques from five 2,048 x 96 element CCDs. These chips have pixels on 13 micrometer centers and operate in the TDI mode in the 96 element direction. Design and performance data are presented.
The development of imaging sensors utilizing charge transfer scanning techniques offers possibilities for television camera systems having dramatically reduced size and weight, highly accurate geometry and extreme ruggedness. To provide a data base for consideration of future applications, two imaging sensors having 190 x 244 and 380 x 488 element interline transfer formats, were evaluated at the Naval it Development Center. Excellent performance was observed, particularly in sensitivity and low contrast target response. Quantity production should yield further improvements in performance and in control of screen nonuniformities.
This paper examines the basis for passive detection of moving targets. Of particular concern is the inclusion of such a cuing or screening method in real-time target acquisition and reconnaissance sensors. Only certain system aspects relating to the MTI feature are presented to avoid repeating what has already been extensively covered by others. Two of these aspects are the need for data compression and the procedural options for processing raw motion maps. While restricting the presentation in this way, the available and pertinent technology base is discussed, some of the parametric results to bound the potential performance are summarized and particular implementation is examined.
In the past, various approaches to recording the output of reconnaissance sensors have been evaluated. Before the development of wide band data links, the data was recorded in the air on compact ruggedized laser beam recorders and the film was removed and developed when the aircraft returned to its base. However, in future environments, where information on battlefield situations is constantly changing, the photo interpreter will not be able to wait for the return of the sensor aircraft. Thus, acquisition of image data within time frames as short as technology can provide is a must. Goodyear Aerospace has developed wide band data link capabilities in conjunction with various synthetic aperture radar (SAR) programs. These data links can be modified to accept data,from all other electronic sensors, and thereby provide the sensor information to a ground station in a matter of seconds. This paper develops the history of compact, high speed, ruggedized laser beam recorders developed in conjunction with pre-data link SAR programs, and combines that knowledge with current technology advancements acquired on eight Landsat LBR programs to conclude with the description of a transportable LBR that will provide the photo-interpreter with access to reconnaissance sensor data in near-real time.
Algorithms for the rapid correction of geometric distortions in digital images are evaluated. A flexible approximate piece-wise linear algorithm is described which can be implemented in near real time hardware. The expansion or compression of lines of digital imagery is achieved by repeating or deleting selected pixels. These pixels are chosen such that the error in the transformation does not exceed one quarter of a pixel The performance of this approach is compared with more sophisticated algorithms.
A new high resolution method of photographic image enhancement is described that uses induced fluorescence emission from the processed original negative image. The visible wavelength light flux emitted from each region of the negative is proportional to the silver density of the original negative, even at extremely low densities. The fluorescent light emitted can be detected, integrated, and thereby enhanced by many methods, including rephotography, fluorescence microscopy, or digital image processing methods. The fluorescence image enhancement method is nondestructive and applicable to both underexposed imagery and low-optical-density regions of properly exposed imagery.
This paper describes techniques for the implementation of high speed, high resolution laser line and/or raster scanned recorders through use of acousto-optic deflection and modulation. A rationale for the design of scanned imaging is presented, discussing such topics as horizontal and vertical MTF, exposure reauirements when scanning with a Gaussian spot and the effect of film characteristics (gamma). A description of several working systems is presented. These include the LR-100/200 Laser Recorder which involves the recording of 875 line television imagery on 8 and 16mm dry processed film, and a high resolution line scanner (4000-6000 spots) that was brassboarded solely with the use of acousto-optic components. The heart of each of these systems is a patented acousto-optic device called the chirp scanner which permits high resolution, high speed scans with literally zero flyback time. This device also forms the basis of a future system capable of direct digital recording at a 150 to 200 Mbit rate.