Active Infra-Red (IR) systems developed in the past ten years are now available for missile defense applications. The main purpose of this paper is to describe the advantages an active IR system could offer to a ballistic missile defense (BMD). The active IR system considered in this paper is a LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) system.
Historically, the Lincoln Laboratory in the USA began using lasers in the early 1960's. The initial applications included the development of a LIDAR system enabling the measurement of the distance between the earth and the moon in 1962.
Satellite tracking using LIDAR began early in 1973. Today, technological developments, with the miniaturization of systems and increased performance levels, have enabled new ambitious projects such as the Discrimination Interceptor Technology Program (DITP) program started in 1998 and the use of LIDAR to help in the discrimination of future exo-atmospheric interceptors within the framework of BMD.
The first part of this paper presents the possible contribution of LIDAR to BMD: the main roles, objectives, and strategic advantages.
The second part gives a brief overview of the technological features of a generic LIDAR instrument, rapidly addressing laser sources, detectors, optics and electronics.
Finally, a modeling of an IR LIDAR system, limited solely to direct detection, and an estimation of performance levels will be presented. A list of possible IR active discriminators will be then presented on the basis of the previous analysis and proposed as new constraints in the design of discrete objects.
Russia began its own satellites early warning system at the end of the 60’s with the development of US-K satellites (known as OKO) to make up for lost time vis-a-vis the USA (MIDAS, VELA, DSP). More than 90 satellites were launched between 1972 and 2003 to build up the satellite constellation of the early warning system. This paper first describes the historic background of development and set-up of the Russia's satellite constellation. The current state of Russia's satellite early warning system is then presented, i.e. the number of satellites supposed to be operational, selected orbits. Operational capabilities are assessed in terms of geometrical visibility, coverage or availability. The last part of this paper gives a quick overview of other early warning systems (in operation or underway) in others countries.
ATLID is a spaceborne backscattering LIDAR using a solid- state Nd-YAG laser (1.064 micrometers wavelength). The paper describes the instrument's Detection Chain breadboard which has been designed and tested under an ESA contract. The Detection Chain is based on an Avalanche PhotoDiode/transimpedance preamplifier hybrid (Detection Front-End Assembly) included on a Detector Module and a Detection Electronics. Main goal aimed at proving the feasibility of the SNR performance and of the clouds backscattered signal detection and datation. The DFEA characterization and the flight design representativity were also a major purpose of this work.