Electro-optically (EO) guided surface to air missiles (SAM) have developed to use Ultraviolet (UV) wavebands supplementary to the more common Infrared (IR) wavebands. Missiles such as the US Stinger have been around for some time, these have been joined recently by Chinese FN-16 and Russian SA-29 (Verba) and there is a much higher potential proliferation risk. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a first-principles, physics based, model of a typical seeker arrangement. The model is constructed from various calculations that aim to characterise the physical effects that will affect the performance of the system. Data has been gathered from a number of sources to provide realism to the variables within the model. It will be demonstrated that many of the variables have the power to dramatically alter the performance of the system as a whole. Further, data will be shown to illustrate the expected performance of a typical UV detector within a SAM in detection range against a variety of target sizes. The trend for the detection range against aircraft size and skin reflectivity will be shown to be non-linear, this should have been expected owing to the exponential decay of a signal through atmosphere. Future work will validate the performance of the model against real world performance data for cameras (when this is available) to ensure that it is operates within acceptable errors.
I. James, I. James,
"Physics based performance model of a UV missile seeker", Proc. SPIE 10435, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures XIV, 104350L (5 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2280748; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2280748