As ATARS evolves along with its various applications, as Recce UAVs evolve to mix with manned systems, and as older systems evolve through upgrades, so should their mission planning tools evolve. To simply state that today's tactical mission planning systems will be upgraded with provisions for Reconnaissance Mission Planning completely eliminates the natural learning curve required to mature the requirements and specifications for reconnaissance planning capabilities. This paper presents MSS II lessons learned at Operation Desert Storm and briefly looks at some of the required Reconnaissance Mission Planning functions attainable through the adaptation of existing mission planning products.
As the cost of acquiring new reconnaissance assets continues to escalate, some are beginning to examine what is really required to fulfill the needs of the tactical community. Combining new technology such as the GPS navigation system with mature technologies like RS-170 video formats in unmanned air vehicles is a path to providing first phase intelligence within a limited budget and preserving highly trained air-crews.
Visible light electro-optical (E-O) sensors offer some impressive advantages compared to film. They are especially well suited for long-range oblique photographic (LOROP) applications because the platform stability required to make effective use of long focal length cameras and time delay integration (TDI) can be provided at long standoff ranges. Missions conducted with tactical sensors, or with focal lengths suitable for moderate standoff, suffer degraded resolution because evasive maneuvers are necessary for survival. This paper is a study of the degradation suffered during 3 to 5 g turns, with pushbroom sensors from 6 to 12 in. in focal length (fl), using state-of-the-art charge coupled devices (CCDs).
Mission Verification System (MVS) is a topic of recent discussion in the tactical reconnaissance community, as well as the supplier and acquisition community supporting that organization. There is a recognized need for a squadron level affordable system to validate mission results, to provide pilot feedback, and to assess sensor performance, i.e., was the target hit? Was the target destroyed? This system also applies to tactical reconnaissance aircraft missions such as the Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System (ATARS). MVS can be deployed with various reconnaissance squadrons. It can maximize currently available technology, a modular concept with little developmental hardware (NDI). In December, 1990 the Commerce Business Daily (CBD) carried a Request For Information (RFI) for the MVS. The RFI was seeking sources who could integrate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) image processing systems with various input media. It included requirements for an open systems architecture to permit straight forward integration of a variety of user systems to allow modular and easy expansion. The RFI further indicated that because of the rapid evolution of COTS numerous imaging processing systems might apply to this requirement. The last requirement pertained to configuration, i.e., racks or transit cases. Desert Shield and Desert Storm added increased emphasis to the requirement for reliable tactical intelligence. Though the desert war activity impacted the acquisition schedule it also dramatically highlighted the need for quality, timely, and effective tactical intelligence.
The relative degree of success of any intelligence gathering mission is a function of a number of limiting factors. Sensor design (resolution and sensitivity), platform stability, image interpreter skills, and the certainty about where to look both in the target area and in the resultant data are critical. These factors are either under the control of or are a part of the observer. Equally critical is the absolute time available to gain a position of vantage and to collect the emitted or reflected electromagnetic radiation associated with the target of interest. This is in part a function of how long the target is in a position to be observed. Target lifetime is that period of time during which data about a target may be collected. It is the time during which a target may be observed without statistically significant changes occurring in its character or location. In military intelligence, priority targets include such categories as weapon systems, troop numbers and strengths, staging areas, transportation systems, and obstacles to movement. In collecting data about natural resources, some interest in similar subjects is shared but others are added because the interest is in very complex ecosystems composed of a large number of targets. Some natural resource target lifetimes are identical to targets of military interest. Others are significantly different and range from those extremely brief, such as the few seconds required for a fire to ignite, up to 6000 years for the position of a Bristlecone pine tree. A critical evaluation of natural resource target attributes reveals both strong similarities and great differences between military targets of interest and those important in resource management. It appears that intelligence gathering efforts in natural resource management can build upon knowledge and principles about target lifetimes from military sources. However, mission planners must determine and consider the various lifetimes of targets unique in the area of natural resource management when planning airborne reconnaissance operations.
An airborne surveillance system utilizing a Zeiss KS-153A, 80 mm Trilens, reconnaissance camera with day/night mission capability is discussed. In the night mode, the camera sets shutter and aperture for flash light operation and provides synchronization pulses to trigger the night illumination system. The night illumination system includes power unit and illumination assembly. Navigational data is recorded on each frame.
Survivability has been a key operative word for the commanders of today's Air Force. Today's technology offers a substantial threat which challenges mission success, mission equipment, and platform survivability. In particular, the transition from photographic to electro-optical (E-O) tactical reconnaissance presents survivability issues that must be addressed today to properly plan and train for near-term deployment. In addition, the declining defense budget environment mandates that the USAF optimize its modern reconnaissance mission equipment to enhance tactical survivability. This paper discusses current, nonclassified, tactical reconnaissance mission tactics as taught at the Air National Guard Reconnaissance Weapons School. It examines the advantages and disadvantages of E-O technology in terms of mission, aircrew, and platform survivability and draws conclusions supporting the need for reconnaissance mission equipment which enhances survivability.
As a next-generation remote sensor of earth's resources, the spectral sampling requirements of an imaging spectrometer are based on the needs for quality and quantity of spectral information to detect ground scenes. The problems of spectral sampling of an imaging spectrometer are discussed in view of information theory, and the concept of spectral bandwidth product is presented. The matching between the needs for detecting and the spectral performances of instrumentation is the basis of the instrumentation design.
A MIL-STD-2179B recorder mounted within a high-performance aircraft pod is described, with emphasis on the recorder's features that allow it to meet this standard in the severe environment encountered. Specific examples of design features which minimize the effects of shock and vibration as well as temperature and humidity are given.
This paper describes the implementation, unique features, and performance of high efficiency linear LED recording head assemblies (RHAs) for film annotation in aerial reconnaissance cameras, and how high-resolution high-speed linear LED arrays are used for printing on ordinary paper using the electrophotographic process. These LED printheads are capable of printing at a speed of 500 ft per minute from a serial digital data source allowing quick conversion of EO data to hard copy.
A helical scan, high bandwidth tape recorder, Model V-305, is being developed for hostile environmental applications, such as airborne reconnaissance. The V-305 has the capability of recording and reproduction on a single asynchronous analog channel with a minimum bandwidth of 12 MHz. The data will be recorded in analog form on a 1/2 inch format tape cassette. In addition, it has selectable/analog auxiliary channels and a 20 kHz analog channel. Control of the recorder is performed via MIL-STD-1553A/B and RS-422-A.
Line-of-sight stabilization is extremely important in aerial reconnaissance systems. Due to high throughput and dynamic range requirements, stabilization systems have traditionally been analog. However, analog systems become very complex and setup requires very capable engineers. With the advent of high-speed, high-resolution digital signal processors (DSP) and peripherals, systems with better performance, much simpler setup and much more capable self-test functions are possible.
n spite of today's emphasis on electro-optic imaging, film cameras continue to be used in overwhelming numbers in the tactical air forces of the world. All indications are that widespread deployment of E-O cameras is still several years away. This makes improvements to the performance of film cameras desirable and even, in many applications, necessary. Film camera performance has recently seen dramatic improvement both in image resolution and system reliability. Film magazines with direct-drive metering rollers have been developed and placed into operational inventories to improve film velocity control and reduce self-generated motion disturbances. This paper describes the changes and addresses the resulting levels of improvements.
The Ericsson Recce Management System (RMS) described in this paper is based on a digital modular concept that provides for a large number of specific user configurations. The system is adapted for tactical reconnaissance, using recce systems with different sensor suits, airborne or ground recording, and different levels of airborne evaluation features. The paper focuses on a description of functions and design considerations. A deeper analysis of features contributing to the high performance of this system is made based on experience accumulated from the rack mounted prototype.
A computerized static performance model is described which calculates the minimum reflectivities required for the recognition and identification of maritime targets. The model is applicable to CCD area array image sensors used in conjunction with a display output. The discussion covers a description of the atmospheric model, modulation transfer functions, the minimum resolvable reflectivity difference, recognition and identification criteria, and program structure. The CCD model is presently being extended to include linear sensors where image motion is used to develop one dimension of the image.
Imagery and other visual information have become a critical element in planning and performing modern military operations. The effectiveness of this imagery information is often directly tied to the time it takes to get from the collector of this imagery to the user of the imagery. Hard copy distribution of annotated imagery to the tactical commander is hampered by the lack of effective communications paths, and the tactical use of hand held imagery is restricted by the lack of film processing facilities. The military has begun to rely on electronic imagery and digital communications technology for answers, with some success. The new obstacles created by applied electronic imagery are interoperability standards and effective use of communications bandwidth in a tactical environment. New technological developments in computer hardware/software have changed this situation by allowing for the gathering, dissemination, and transfer of near-real-time information to various intelligence audiences at any location. The Naval Air Development Center (NAVAIRDEVCEN) has coupled commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology with National Image Transmission Formats (NITF) Standards to develop a Secondary Imagery Dissemination System (SIDS) package that is designed to meet the flexibility challenge of the tactical military environment. This tailorable SIDS package is called Laptop Image Transmission Equipment (LITE). The LITE system is an extension of the Navy's existing Fleet Imagery Support Terminal (FIST) into the man-portable tactical environment. As such, LITE development is focused on developing flexible imagery input (from sources such as filmless cameras) and connectivity to tactical communications paths and ruggedization/miniaturization issues. The LITE system, in prototype form, has already found application through operational use in special operations, counter narcotics operations, and classic air/ground/sea military operations. This paper provides an overview of the LITE components, specifications, operations, and future developments for the system.
Recent events have shown use of video cameras in airborne applications as a major source of intelligence in a war scenario. Until recently, the video camera has been a secondary source of intelligence after the photographic media. The need for readily interpreted, easily understood, and timely information has given the video camera its new role. The development of CCD video cameras is of great importance in this new role. Image motion and field of view are major concerns in video imaging, especially in the airborne application. Gating and selected lenses can greatly reduce the image motion in a video camera for airborne application. The electronically gated airborne video camera is discussed.
This paper will describe the accomplishments and lessons learned of the
Pioneer Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert
The Pioneer UAV has been deployed with three branches of the U.S.
military (USA, USN, and USMC) for the past four years. Although the system has
compiled over 6,000 flight hours, the recent conflict in the Gulf is the first
opportunity to demonstrate its true value in a combat scenario. In a relatively short
time (42 days), 307 flights and 1,011 flight hours were completed on Operation
Desert Storm. This, coupled with the accuracy of various weapons systems that
Pioneer observed/cued for, resulted in timely target engagements.
This paper will chronicle the Pioneer deployment and accomplishments on
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Various employment methods, tactics,
doctrine, and lessons learned will be presented.
Air Force System's Command has designated the 3246th Test Wing as the responsible test organization for the developmental test and evaluation (DT&E) of the Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System (ATARS). To meet the needs of this important test program, the 3246th Test Wing has established a Reconnaissance and Imaging Sensors Test Division (3246TW/DOR). The test team that was assembled has made extensive plans and preparations for ATARS DT&E. This paper outlines the ATARS program, presents a system description of ATARS, summarizes the 3246TW/DOR DT&E planning efforts, and details a new method of evaluating sensor performance on the ground that has been developed by the Naval Air Test Center.
Recently, the Air Force Development Test Center (AFDTC) has assembled an extensive capability to test reconnaissance and imaging sensors. Both ground testing and highly dynamic flight testing are available using an extensive array of calibrated engineering targets and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) category tactical targets. Both infrared (IR) and electro- optical (E-O) targets are available. In-flight evaluations of resolution and sensitivity provide greater insight into system performance than classically calculated or laboratory measured parameters which have difficulty modeling the in-flight environment (e.g., aircraft motion, vibration, thermal dynamics, etc.). The ability to evaluate a system in-flight with sufficient fidelity provides a more realistic measure of the subsystem interaction and operational performance. This paper describes the technical test facilities available at AFDTC, to include engineering targets, tactical targets, instrumentation, and host platforms available for testing reconnaissance and imaging sensor systems. Targets available near AFDTC and procedures to utilize AFDTC resources are discussed.