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24 July 2000 Tactical midinfrared testbed
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A new tactical airborne multicolor missile warning testbed was developed and fielded as part of an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) initiative focusing on clutter and missile signature measurements for algorithm development. Multicolor discrimination is one of the most effective ways of improving the performance of infrared missile warning sensors, particularly for heavy clutter situations. Its utility has been demonstrated in fielded scanning sensors. Normally, multicolor discrimination is performed in the mid-infrared, 3-5 micrometers band, where the molecular emission of CO and CO2 characteristic of a combustion process is readily distinguished from the continuum of a black body radiator. Current infrared warning sensor development is focused on staring mosaic detector arrays that provide much higher frame rates than scanning systems in a more compact and mechanically simpler package. This, in turn, has required that multicolor clutter data be collected for both analysis and algorithm development. The developed sensor test bed is a 256x256 InSb sensor with an optimized two color filter wheel integrated with the optics. The collection portion includes a ruggedized parallel array processor and fast disk array capable of real-time processing and collection of up to 350 full frames per second. This configuration allowed the collection and real- time processing of temporally correlated, radiometrically calibrated data in two spectral bands that was compared to background and target imagery taken previously. The current data collections were taken from a modified Piper light aircraft at medium and low altitudes of background, battlefield clutter, and shoulder-fired missile signatures during August 1999.
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Joel B. Montgomery, Richard B. Sanderson, and Frank O. Baxley "Tactical midinfrared testbed", Proc. SPIE 4029, Targets and Backgrounds VI: Characterization, Visualization, and the Detection Process, (24 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.392516;


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