7 October 2014 Requirements for laser countermeasures against imaging seekers
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Conventional anti-aircraft infrared seekers all operate on the principle of detecting the position of a IR source by modulating the FOV to encode the track of the target. This is a fundamental susceptibility of this class of seeker that renders them vulnerable to laser jamming. There are several DIRCM systems available that meet these requirements and provide a high degree of protection against reticle seekers. The latest generation of IR seekers use imaging technology that discriminates the target position in an essentially different manner. This class of seeker is not susceptible to DIRCM jamming. This paper examines the effectiveness of laser jamming against imaging seekers to derive requirements for laser countermeasures. Imaging seekers processing techniques that can be used to track the target and reject countermeasures are entirely defined by the on-board software of the seeker. Imaging seekers may be vulnerable to higher power laser jamming. The effect of laser dazzle appears to degrade the image quality. However, actual scatter levels can be modelled and it can be shown that usable information is still available to the seeker under dazzle. If neither decoy expendables nor dazzle lasers are expected to be effective against imaging seekers then the logical next step is to increase the laser power to produce damage. Estimates are provided to indicate the laser power levels that would be required against an imaging seeker focal plane. Although it is possible to design seekers that are hardened against laser damage, it is not clear that such designs are practical.
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William D. Caplan, William D. Caplan, "Requirements for laser countermeasures against imaging seekers", Proc. SPIE 9251, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures XI; and High-Power Lasers 2014: Technology and Systems, 925103 (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2067264; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2067264

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