The US Navy has developed and demonstrated rapid targeting technologies that, when combined, support a time critical strike capability. The interaction of these existing technologies (i.e. real-time tactical manned reconnaissance, real-time image screening/geo-registration, and image seeking smart munitions) provide an immediate rapid targeting capability and lay the foundation for future manned and fully automated time critical strike systems. This paper describes the existing rapid targeting technologies and the concept of operations for integrating these technologies for time critical strike. It also projects potential time strike capabilities that can be achieved and deployed in the near future.
Modern conflicts induces various modes of deployment, due to the type of conflict, the type of mission, and phase of conflict. It is then impossible to define fixed architecture systems for surveillance ground segments. Thales has developed a structure for a ground segment based on the operational functions required, and on the definition of modules and networks. Theses modules are software and hardware modules, including communications and networks. This ground segment is called MGS (Modular Ground Segment), and is intended for use in airborne reconnaissance systems, surveillance systems, and U.A.V. systems. Main parameters for the definition of a modular ground image exploitation system are : Compliance with various operational configurations, Easy adaptation to the evolution of theses configurations, Interoperability with NATO and multinational forces, Security, Multi-sensors, multi-platforms capabilities, Technical modularity, Evolutivity Reduction of life cycle cost The general performances of the MGS are presented : type of sensors, acquisition process, exploitation of images, report generation, data base management, dissemination, interface with C4I. The MGS is then described as a set of hardware and software modules, and their organization to build numerous operational configurations. Architectures are from minimal configuration intended for a mono-sensor image exploitation system, to a full image intelligence center, for a multilevel exploitation of multi-sensor.
The HeliNet project has been funded by the European Union for the period 2000-2002, and concerns the development of a network of stratospheric platforms for telecommunications, navigation and remote sensing. The first year of activity has lead to the definition of the long-tern system objectives, as well as preliminary specifications of the platform structure and payloads. In particular, in this paper we give an overview of the current status of the project. We address system integration issues, which involve interfacing the payloads and the aeronautical structure; moreover, we report current activities in a few major application domains, namely navigation and remote sensing.
The benefits of an all-weather day-night deep battlespace reconnaissance capability on a penetrating platform are introduced and synthetic aperture radar is identified as a sensor technology which may offer this capability. However, certain risks are apparent in synthetic aperture radar operation in this type of application. A program of applied research and technology demonstration has therefore been put in place to mitigate these risks. The program began with a radar design study phase, aimed at a pod-mounted system on a Tornado aircraft and guided by an outline radar requirement. The pod facility in which the radar will be carried is presented, along with the outline radar requirement, and followed by some general results of the kind of parametric analysis undertaken in the design study. Finally, some recent investigations into the effects of uncompensated aircraft motion on SAR image quality are given. In conclusion, the program is seen to be based on a very sound technical footing and should offer high quality, proven advice on the capability that this type of radar mounted on a fast jet reconnaissance aircraft can offer.
The SHAred Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) Program is a United States Navy tactical reconnaissance program that culminates in the supply of visible and infrared imagery products to the fleet. The intent of the program is to provide the warfighter the most robust tactical reconnaissance capability possible in a timely manner. The SHARP concept is a multi-function reconnaissance pod, adaptable to several airborne platforms for tactical manned airborne reconnaissance. The genesis platform is the Navy F/A-18. With regard to multi-platform application, a smart pod approach has been pursued with most of the required functionality being incorporated into the pod. SHARP will replace the Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) flying on the Navy F-14. This paper outlines the SHARP Program requirements and acquisition approach, along with the SHARP system capabilities and operation.
Recce NG (Reconnaissance New Generation) is presented as a complete and optimized Tactical Reconnaissance System. Based on a new generation Pod integrating high resolution Dual Band sensors, the system has been designed with the operational lessons learnt from the last Peace Keeping Operations in Bosnia and Kosovo. The technical solutions retained as component modules of a full IMINT acquisition system, take benefit of the state of art in the following key technologies: Advanced Mission Planning System for long range stand-off Manned Recce, Aircraft and/or Pod tasking, operating sophisticated back-up software tools, high resolution 3D geo data and improved/combat proven MMI to reduce planning delays, Mature Dual Band sensors technology to achieve the Day and Night Recce Mission, including advanced automatic operational functions, as azimuth and roll tracking capabilities, low risk in Pod integration and in carrier avionics, controls and displays upgrades, to save time in operational turn over and maintenance, High rate Imagery Down Link, for Real Time or Near Real Time transmission, fully compatible with STANAG 7085 requirements, Advanced IMINT Exploitation Ground Segment, combat proven, NATO interoperable (STANAG 7023), integrating high value software tools for accurate location, improved radiometric image processing and open link to the C4ISR systems. The choice of an industrial Prime contractor mastering across the full system, all the prior listed key products and technologies, is mandatory to a successful delivery in terms of low Cost, Risk and Time Schedule.
This paper addresses the F-16C Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System (TARS) flight demonstration of an Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) data link in the Time Critical Targeting role. Recent conflicts have identified the need to rapidly locate and attack targets before they can be moved. This places increased demands on reconnaissance assets to reduce the time from imagery collection to exploitation. On July 18, 2001 a demonstration of rapid targeting was conducted with a TARS F-16 using the ABIT data link to determine its ability and benefits in the rapid targeting role. This industry-government demonstration validated the operation of the ABIT data link on the F-16 along with the ability to reduce the time from collection to exploitation and extend imagery transmission ranges through the use of an airborne relay. This was the first use of ABIT on a fighter aircraft, the first ABIT air-to-air-to-ground transmission relay and the first use of ABIT at its maximum bandwidth of 274MB/s.
Since 1994 a reconnaissance system has been developed for the German Air Force (GAF) consisting of a pod structure equipped with different sensors and a ground station. It can be used day and night due to its optical and infrared sensors and is designed for altitudes ranging from 200 ft to 8000 ft. An adaptation to different aircraft and other sensors, such as electro-optical cameras is possible. The data from the reconnaissance missions can be evaluated in an especially designed ground station immediately after landing. In addition, the on-board evaluation of the IR-imagery is possible.
Solid state recorders have begun replacing traditional tape recorders in fulfilling the requirement to record images on airborne platforms. With the advances in electro-optical, IR, SAR, Multi and Hyper-spectral sensors and video recording requirements, solid state recorders have become the recorder of choice. Solid state recorders provide the additional storage, higher sustained bandwidth, less power, less weight and smaller footprint to meet the current and future recording requirements. CALCULEX, Inc., manufactures a non-volatile flash memory solid state recorder called the MONSSTR (Modular Non-volatile Solid State Recorder). MONSSTR is being used to record images from many different digital sensors on high performance aircraft such as the RF- 4, F-16 and the Royal Air Force Tornado. MONSSTR, with its internal multiplexer, is also used to record instrumentation data. This includes multiple streams of PCM and multiple channels of 1553 data. Instrumentation data is being recorded by MONSSTR systems in a range of platforms including F-22, F-15, F-16, Comanche Helicopter and US Navy torpedos. MONSSTR can also be used as a cockpit video recorder. This paper will provide an update of the MONSSTR.
New generation of tactical reconnaissance pod for high performance aircraft. The pod will contain a high resolution multispectral sensor suite for day/night missions, digital solid state recorder and optional data link. The modular structure of the pod is based on the Litening targeting pod and uses the same interface to the aircraft, saving cost for new system integration and certification. The system is designed for medium to low altitude reconnaissance missions. The overall system includes modules for mission planning and image evaluation on ground. RecceLite is an affordable high performance reconnaissance system with state of the art technology. Due to the modular design it provides growth potential and easy integration of future developments.
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed and tested the Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System-Completely Digital (TARPS-CD) System on the F-14 Tomcat aircraft. This system has been used in a risk reduction demonstration program extending from January 1999 to July 2001. The purpose of the program is to verify, validate and demonstrate the concept of realtime tactical reconnaissance using timely, high quality and broad coverage tactical imagery, thus expanding the reconnaissance capability of the U.S. navy. Additionally, the program was to identify potential technical risks associated with the Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) Program, the Navy's future manned tactical reconnaissance capability. The TARPS-CD flight test program has demonstrated that near real-time, electro- optical, airborne reconnaissance, as planned for SHARP, is valid and feasible. The TARPS-CD system collects high quality imagery at high data rates with the capability of storing, displaying, and/or transmitting imagery in a timely manner, and represents a significant increase in operational capability over existing film type systems.
Imagery Exploitation is an area of considerable importance for the Intelligence community. Collection capabilities continue to deliver larger and more accurate data across modalities while having significant impacts throughout the image chain. Additionally, multi- and hyper-spectral data sources will heavily burden processing, storage, exploitation, and dissemination architectures. This paper addresses three specific areas of concern: The need to exploit this large amount of imagery, in a timely manner, to support Intelligence Objectives The need to quickly and accurately integrate geospatial information with intelligence information Management and maintenance of the community's corporate history regarding critical targets and entities This paper presents the Target Exploitation Analysis and Management System (TEAMS), a shared analyst's softcopy exploitation environment that improves analysis and exploitation performance of multi-modal imagery in a collaborative, Work Group environment. TEAMS integrate Information Management technologies with Knowledge Management tools to capture and correlate the knowledge that exists within a group. Object-based data stores and a contextually driven ontology capture issues specific to the workgroup. This approach is successful because it focuses on specific exploitation tasks within a work-group environment, reducing workloads to the mission-applicable information while maintaining an interface to the entire intelligence community.