High resolution airborne or vehicular imaging systems are often limited in performance by mechanical vibrations. High vibration frequency MTF is known. Low vibration frequency MTF is a random process analyzed here. Average and ideal maximum spatial frequency limitations are calculated. Plots are presented to describe the number of independent images of the same object that are required in order that at least one "lucky shot" with a given spatial frequency requirement is obtained with a given probability. Examples for short and long relative exposures are included. This data can be used to statistically define expected performance of high resolution systems and to aid accordingly in sensor selection. Probability of achieving higher resolution improves noticeably if relative exposure time is decreased.
Beginning 1977, Fairchild Weston Systems developed a long-range E-0 Reconnaissance System. The goal was to develop and experimentally demonstrate the capabilities of a sensor using Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Time Delay and Integration, (TM) technology. It was shown to be possible to electronically subtract the background, due to haze, from each picture element (PIXEL) and amplify the remaining differences to enhance the reproduced scene. The large image signal-to-noise ratio required was ob-tained through the use of a TDI. An optically contiguous focal plane, built up of TDI chips, was integrated into a long focal length camera, which was test-flown. This paper describes the experiment and the results obtained.
The need for Long Range Oblique Photography (LOROP) sensors similar to CA1's KS-146A has resulted in the new KS-147A LOROP camera system. This paper describes the KS-147A camera, the result of repackaging the successful KS-146A to permit installation into the nose of the Northrop RF-5E aircraft. Key features of the camera include a seven-element, 1676-mm (66-inch) focal length, f/5.6 lens; a two-axis, gyro-stabilized scan head; a passive isolation mount; closed-loop, autocollimation autofocus; and self-contained thermal system. As with the KS-146A, the KS-147A microprocessor controlled subsystems combined with high-definitionIEK 3412 and 3414 films provide the guaranteed airborne resolution (70 Ip/mm for KS-147A, 60 Ipirnm for KS-146A) required at high altitudes and long standoff distances which characterize the LOROP mission. To meet space and weight constraints, the system is divided into two major components: the camera assembly and the electronics unit. The camera assembly contains the scan head, lens, fold mirrors, autofocus drive, thermal system, roll drive, shutter, optical filter and film magazine. The electronics unit contains power supplies, microprocessor-based control electronics and servo controls for operation of the camera including its built-in test (BIT), cycle rate, exposure, focus, stabilization, roll drive and thermal control systems. External cabling interfaces the electronics unit to the aircraft, camera and remote test set. The camera assembly has mounting provisions that are compatible with theIRF-5E pallet design. The camera and pallet are installed through the bottom door of the RF-5E nose and bolted to the aircraft structure. The camera/pallet assembly is located in the main bay area of the nose structure, occupying Stations 2 through 4. The electronics unit installs in the forward nose section, occupying Station 1. The camera system's optical axis is folded 1800 through two fold mirrors placing the magazine directly over the scan head. This was required to fit within the confines of Stations 2 through 4. Details of the camera development, installation within the aircraft and performance guarantee are presented.
The RF-5E single cockpit tactical reconnaissance aircraft was designed in 1981 to carry a variety of low, medium and high altitude sensor configurations mounted internally on interchangeable pallets. Presently, Northrop is incorporating the high resolution, 66-inch focal length, f/5.6, KS-147A LOROP (Long Range Oblique Photographic) Camera into the aircraft which will provide standoff capability exceeding 30 nautical miles. This paper addresses the design to mechanically and electrically integrate the KS-147A into the RF-5E while aintaining the concept of interchangeable sensor pallets. The paper will include a discussion of the design requirements imposed on the suppliers of the KS-147A camera and the Photographic Sensor Control System as well as a detailed design discussion of the structural, electrical and environmental control components necessary to install the camera in the aircraft. Finally, the planned ground and flight test activities will be presented.
The KS-147A Long Range Oblique Photographic (LOROP) Camera is being developed to satisfy an operational tactical reconnaissance requirement. This paper addresses that specific requirement and the capabilities of the KS-147A in the Northrop RF-5E to meet that need. Particular emphasis is given to specific flight planning parameters, maintenance preparations and ground requirements of the camera system, inflight considerations and typical mission profiles. The paper concludes with an assessment of the RF-5E/KS-147A Camera system to provide an effective tactical reconnaissance standoff capability.
This paper shows how atmospheric scattering can affect the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the spatial resolution, and the noise equivalent reflectance difference (NEAp) of an oblique CCD reconnaissance camera operating in the pushbroom mode. An example is given that compares these quantities for 75° and 85° oblique imagery with the near-nadir case for a flat, horizontal target. The effect of imaging the target at various azimuths with respect to the sun is examined.
This paper describes the uses of high altitude reconnaissance photography for various forestry and rangeland applications in the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. In recent years the Forest Service has placed a significant emphasis on the use of high altitude photography for resource applications because such technology has the potential for contributing significantly toward the effective evaluation and management of our forest and rangeland resources.
External pod-mounted equipment is a good solution for a multi-role aircraft acting in the reconnaissance mode. Reconnaissance pods offer the advantage of providing reconnaissance capability to fighter or attack aircraft already in inventory. Another benefit of a pod-based system is the ability to use the same pod on different types of aircraft. The adaptation of a reconnaissance pod system to more than one type of aircraft enables the operator to choose that aircraft which is the most suitable for the present tactical situation. If one type of aircraft is phased out, the reconnaissance pod can be adapted to new aircraft. In most present and future tactical environments, there are two main tactical reconnaissance mission profiles: high-speed/low-level penetration missions and stand-off missions (figure 1). The "tactical" sensors therefore must be able to gather reconnaissance information in one of these two profiles.
This paper describes the efforts, which have been performed to qualify the newly designed TORNADO reconnaissance Pod for its application in the various services. These efforts included comprehensive ground and flight tests. Reconnaissance Pods are designed so as not to limit the flight performance of the air-craft. On the other hand reconnaissance equipments require a stable environment which is in contrast to the ambient conditions of outboard stores on high performance fighter aircraft. To ensure that the designers fullfilled their tasks to match these conflicting requirements to a good technical solution, the tests described in this paper have been carried out.
The use of unmanned air vehicles to perform tactical operations is an increasing factor in battlefield strategy. Such a system can inexpensively satisfy a number of military missions in highly contested scenarios without hazard to an aircrew. Computer controlled and piloted preplanned missions can be accomplished by autonomous air vehicles. However, such systems are lacking in flexibility to a degree that fails to respond to the fluidic processes of a modern battlefield. The incorporation of piloting capabilities to the unmanned air vehicles greatly increases their flexibility, enabling a wider range of mission capabilities, a higher success ratio and greater survivability. New technological developments, taking advantage of quick response possibilities, allow of real time operation under battlefield conditions. In future warfare, due to interdiction of operational airfields, unmanned vehicles are likely to the major source of the exercise of tactical air power. This paper discusses the piloting requirements for unmanned air vehicles as imposed by command and control sequences, visual display, communications and the design and operation of remote control stations. This paper is a continuation of SPIE paper 548-34 (Arlington, Va. , Apr 1985).
Development of reconnaissance systems in the information age involving new trends in C3I fifth generation of computers, artificial intelligence and expert systems etc is a challenge. However the result depends on the ability to balance all the factors involved whereas the logistics community contribution to mission success becomes more and more important especially in certain airborne systems with encreasing complex techniques. The very simple fact that the development and quality of complex system does not proceed faster than the custumers ability to absorbe, select, specify, coordinate and decide from the explorative development is well known but still a great problem. This paper will describe some baselines for a logistics management program with emphasis on Life Cycle Cost (LCC) used to solve the main problems under the must severe conditions. Development of fixed priced LCC guaranteed multirole a/c for the year 2000 integrated with automated very short "early warning", and a mix of personnel in the field with conscript whereas the necessary "culture of reconnaissance" has to be restored are some of the features that creates the background. The integrated logistics support controls all activities affecting AVAILABILTY and LCC.
The microprocessor or "computer on a chip" was first introduced in 1971 and found its initial application in the hand held calculator. Today this device has applications in almost every facet of our lives. We encounter the microprocessor, many times, each day without even realizing the application. The automated nature of the microprocessor, hides its presence, and consistently and efficiency goes about its system "house keeping role". The device gives its host system a "smart" nature. The microprocessor when applied to a particular system function generally enhances the system function, adding system flexibility, and also replaces a mechanical predecessor. The microprocessor reduces size, weight and overall system power consumption especially when applied to a system which has been mechanical in nature. The reconnaissance system is just such a device.
Like beauty, "real time" is in the eye of the beholder. Airborne electro-optical (EO) reconnaissance systems can transmit an image in real time to a display in an imagery interpreter's (II) console, but it then takes around 15 min for the II to issue his report. Thus, while the II sees real-time imagery, the officer in the field who requested the coverage sees a report that is not real time and that may be rapidly losing its value. The greatest delay in issuing the report comes from having to determine where the target is. This is currently done on the Analytical Photogrammetric Positioning System (APPS) that uses stereophotomaps to determine the x, y, z coordinates of a point on the ground; it takes many minutes to measure the position of each target. Our goal is to reduce that portion of the recce cycle that uses Itek technology--from time over target to issuance of a report--to less than 2 min. A still shorter time would be desirable in the face of rapidly moving targets,, but there is little point in making the time negligible compared to that required for Oil to evaluate the report and issue orders, plus the time required to respond to the orders. It is clear that we can achieve this 2-min goal only if we can greatly reduce the time it now takes to determine the location of a target. The accuracy with which a target is located should not suffer while the time is reduced. There is a tradeoff to be made between timeliness and accuracy when the target is moving: neither short time with poor accuracy nor high accuracy with long time is desirable. We have arbitrarily adopted goals in which a target can be located to about 100 ft in less than half a minute. The experiments reported here investigated one concept, called Rapid Target Locator (RATL), for achieving this performance.
As the DoD executive agent for imagery intelligence training, the U.S. Air Force has undertaken the task of acquiring a "system" to modernize the imagery intelligence training at the Armed Forces Air Intelligence Training Center (AFAITC), with an option to upgrade training at the Defense Sensor Interpretation and Applications Training Program (DSIATP). This modernization program will include training image interpreters and analysts to support complex existing systems and to prepare these individuals to understand and support new capabilities in imaging platforms. It also is intended to enable the rapid extraction of vital intelligence information using new sophisticated imagery exploitation systems.
Use of Spread Spectrum Communication Systems in the tactical environment will present time, frequency and/or phase uncertainty problems to conventional SIGINT and EW systems. Acoustooptical implementation of SIGINT systems provides a potential solution to these uncertainties in the receiver response function. It also identifies areas for further research to advance the acoustooptic approach.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS
1.1. The requirements of the different armed forces
1.2. Available documents
2. BASIC EQUIPMENT AND METHODS
2.1. Long range oblique photography
2.2. Side looking antenna radar (SLAR)
2.5. Production of maps and files
3. OPERATIONAL CARTOGRAPHY SYSTEMS
3.1. Combination of various data acquisitions
3.2. System architecture
3.3. Accuracy and performance
Recent trends in airborne reconnaissance force the designers of IR reconnaissance sensors to study data compression methods so that the sensors can be more efficiently interfaced with real time data links and with magnetic recorders. The previous successful efforts in compressing FLIR data are briefly noted. Infrared line scanners have only recently become candidates for data compression. Some of the requirements and problems are noted for compressing line scan data. Applicable methods are presented, and a hybrid DPCM/Huffman Coder is described with some successful results.
Computer-assisted photo-interpretation is a recent development supported by the advent of numerous interpretation stations. A unique universal station is VIDARS--manufactured by the Richards Corporation of McLean, Virginia--since it has recently been equipped with a new software system that incorporates complex photogrammetric mensuration capabilities. Photo-interpreters typically find it difficult to perform mensuration tasks; therefore the implementation of the photogrammetric functions must not burden the user with a need to understand photogrammetric theories. This paper illustrates a difficult application of VIDARS to sector-scan panoramic film (Long Range Aerial Panoramic--LORAP) imagery and will show how well the user can perform target positioning tasks within his interpretation work.
A nation cannot fight successfully without detailed and accurate knowledge of its potential enemies. When an Air Force crew is directed on an attack mission, it is neither prudent nor cost effective to simply fly to an area, select a target by observation and expend ordinance. The ESM/Imaging sensor combination will significantly contribute to the ability to be decisive in the event of conflict. The synergism of Tactical ESM data provided from a stand-off location and the high resolution image data provided from a stand-off location or overflight results in a sustained reconnaissance capability that can be used through all phases of military operation from peace time surveillance through actual combat operations. From stand-off ranges in excess of 200 nautical miles, the tactical ESM sensor will provide cues concerning the disposition, composition, and movement of adversaries through the interception of electromagnetic emissions. The cues can be used by the reconnaissance aircrew: (1) to swiftly focus a stand-off imaging sensor on the area of interest from ranges in excess of 50 nautical miles or (2) provide general target location and optimum ingress/egress route information for target overflight imaging. Therefore, the timely cuing and identification data provided by the Tactical ESM sensor will be combined with verification, positive ID, blind bombing accuracy data obtained from imaging sensors. Thus optimum results will be obtained by using cuing and verification sensors to provide timely, positive identification and accurate target locations. The synergism of Tactical ESM and imaging sensors will be particularly effective in the critical 20 - 300 kilometer region from a political border or forward edge of a battle area (FEBA). Limited ESM imaging sensor synergism' has already been operationally employed using the Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance Sensor (TEREC) for cuing and the UPD-4 Side Looking Radar (SLR) for verification. Although this synergism was performed manually, the basic utility of the concept was verified.
The call for abolishing photo reconnaissance in favor of real time is once more being heard. Ten years ago the same cries were being heard with the introduction of the Charge Coupled Device (CCD). The real time system problems that existed then and stopped real time proliferation have not been solved. The lack of an organized program by either DoD or industry has hampered any efforts to solve the problems, and as such, very little has happened in real time in the last ten years. Real time is not a replacement for photo, just as photo is not a replacement for infra-red or radar. Operational real time sensors can be designed only after their role has been defined and improvements made to the weak links in the system. Plodding ahead on a real time reconnaissance suite without benefit of evaluation of utility will allow this same paper to be used ten years from now.
This paper highlights, in a very general sense, some of the issues, challenges and opportunities involved in developing and employing visible spectrum electro-optic systems for tactical reconnaissance. Visible spectrum electro-optic systems are viewed from some of the technical and management issues associated with the move from film into electro-optics. The challenge of retaining the high-resolution capability present in today's systems while transitioning into electro-optic systems is presented in terms of data rate management and handling. The paper concludes that the transition from film-based systems to electro-optic systems will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Digital reconnaissance images gathered by low-altitude over-flights with resolutions on the order of a few feet and fields of view up to 120 degrees can generate millions of pixels per second. Storing this data in-flight, transmitting it to the ground, and analyzing it presents significant problems to the tactical community. One potential solution is in-flight preview and pruning of the data where an operator keeps or transmits only those image segments which on first view contain potential intelligence data. To do this, the images must be presented to the operator in a geometrically correct form. Wide-angle dis-tortion, distortions induced by yaw, pitch, roll and altitude variations, and distortions due to non-ideal alignment of the focal plane array must be removed so the operator can quickly assess the scene content and make decisions on which image segments to keep. When multiple sensors are used with a common field of view, they must be mutually coregistered to permit multispectral or multimode processing to exploit these rich data dimensions. In addition, the operator should be able to alter the apparent point of view of the image, i.e., be able to zoom in and out, rotate, and roam through the displayed field of view while maintaining geometric and radiometric precision. These disparate requirements have a common feature in the ability to perform real-time image geometry manipulation. The role of image geometry manipulation, or image warping, is reviewed and a "strawman" system dis-cussed which incorporates the Pipelined Resampling Processor (PRP). The PRP is a real-time image warping processor discussed at this conference in previous years"2'3". Actual results from the PRP prototype are presented. In addition, other image processing aids such as image enhancement and object classification are discussed as they apply to reconnaissance applications.
Reconnaissance interface products over the past ten years have focused on the interface between the aircraft, including its cockpit, and the peculiar interfaces required to control and annotate information in tactical reconnaissance sensors. Compared to older systems like those in the RF-4 which contains multiple boxes and analog interfaces, today's reconnaissance interface is much simpler in a single, highly reliable unit, controlled by its own programmable microprocessor. Furthermore, recent engineering development systems have demonstrated how this single, programmable unit can be adapted to a variety of sensors, including the recent mix and match requirement for electro optics and/or film type of sensors. This presentation provides a sampling of some of the many reconnaissance interface functions this unit can and does perform.