17 August 2000 Transition from lab to flight demo for model-based FLIR ATR and SAR-FLIR fusion
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Model-based automatic target recognition (ATR) using forward- looking infrared (FLIR) imagery, and using FLIR imagery combined with cues from a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system, has been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory. For the laboratory demonstration, FLIR images, platform location, sensor data, and SAR cues were read in from files stored on computer disk. This ATR system, however, was intended to ultimately be flown in a fighter aircraft. We discuss the transition from laboratory demonstration to flight demonstration for this system. The obvious changes required were in the interfaces: the flight system must get live FLIR imagery from a sensor; it must get platform location, sensor data, and controls from the avionics computer in the aircraft via 1553 bus; and it must get SAR cues from the on-board SAR system, also via 1553 bus. Other changes included the transition to rugged hardware that would withstand the fighter aircraft environment, and the need for the system to be compact and self-contained. Unexpected as well as expected challenges were encountered. We discuss some of these challenges, how they were met, and the performance of the flight-demonstration system.
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Martin B. Childs, Karen M. Carlson, Neeraj Pujara, "Transition from lab to flight demo for model-based FLIR ATR and SAR-FLIR fusion", Proc. SPIE 4050, Automatic Target Recognition X, (17 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.395576; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.395576


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