Infrared imaging sensors are required to provide visual target recognition at night. The potential exists for converting present day-only imaging sensors to day/night by replacing the vidicons or silicon charge-coupled devices with an infrared staring focal plane array. The analyses show that twice the recognition range can be obtained with a 3 to 5 micron sensor as compared to an 8 to 12 micron sensor for an aperture-limited system. This paper describes the performance of antiaircraft fire-control imaging sensors based on a staring 128 x 128-element indium antimonide detector array operating in the 3 to 5 micron Medium Wavelength IR band. With a 4.5 inch diameter clear aperture telescope, head-on recognition of fighter-size aircraft (for example, Foxbat) is predicted to be as far as 16 nautical miles, with detection at over 100 nautical miles. A laboratory sensor has been used to accumulate nighttime imagery of commercial aircraft at 8 to 15 mile ranges.* The results are presented in a short video tape in which the aircraft can be easily recognized.
D. N. Pocock,
C. A. Luke,
"Infrared Imaging Sensors For Long-Range Target Recognition", Proc. SPIE 0750, Infrared Systems and Components, (20 September 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.939870; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.939870