The tremendous demand for Homeland Defense and Homeland Security (HD/HS) equipment for all types of commercial, industrial, civic, government and military facilities has resulted in an explosion of new applications for pan and tilt positioners. This paper discusses the technology of high performance positioning equipment in conjunction with various sensor systems now being utilized for HD/HS applications, and how this equipment is becoming more critical to the success of the HD/HS mission.
This paper discusses the development of two new state-of- the-art Electro-Optical (E-O) cameras, the CA-295 and the CA-270. These cameras employ wafer-scale visible and IR spectrum focal plane arrays to capture wide field of view digital images simultaneously in both bands. Specifications, performance and the configuration of the cameras is discussed. The current flight demonstration status is given. Representative imagery form previous generation cameras is shown.
This paper reviews the origin, at the start of this decade, of Electro-Optic (E-O) framing technology. It follows the development of the 4-, 25-, and 50-Mpixel focal plane arrays (FPAs) which incorporate on-chip electronic forward motion compensation (FMC). These FPAs enable intelligence-quality performance under dynamic tactical maneuvers. Current technology has extended E-O framing into the infrared (IR) spectrum with the introduction of the world's largest IR FPA, a newly 4-Mpixel Platinum Silicide (PtSi) array.
The future of E-O framing is being defined by two new United States patents announced in this paper. "Profiled" FMC provides the ability to enhance on-chip FMS using near real time image correlation. The process also yields a powerful "Precision Strike" capability by generating precision geo-location information which can be quickly transmitted to today's precision weapons.
The second patent makes use of aircraft INS information to generate two-dimensional vectors. These vectors can be applied to a unique two-dimensional FPA image motion compensation architecture. Two-axis motion compensation improves the robustness of E-O framing cameras to dynamic aircraft maneuvers. The text describes compensation performance for rates of 30° per second in roll, and 10° per second in pitch and yaw with less than 2-pixels of blur over the entire array.
This paper presents the details of the engineering flight tests of the CA-260/25 25-Mpixel tactical reconnaissance camera, performed at Mojave, CA in August 1996. The camera's fundamentals of operation are presented, along with a comparison of features with the earlier 4-Mpixel camera. The paper discusses the purpose, equipment configuration and mission specifics, and summarizes flight test results. Examples of flight test imagery are then presented with some analysis of CA-260 performance.
This paper discusses a recently introduced electro-optical (E-O) step frame camera. The camera is designed for visible- spectrum, medium-altitude, wide-area coverage, military tactical reconnaissance. The paper reviews the tactical reconnaissance requirements for modern E-O cameras mandated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Airborne REconnaissance Office. Also, camera specifications and major hardware elements are given, followed by camera operational modes and performance. Finally, the paper presents the results of recent demonstration flights, including equipment configuration, flight parameters and resulting imagery.
This paper presents an overview of a new camera product for manned tactical reconnaissance applications where optimum ground coverage is desired. A review of Electro-Optical (E- O) framing technology is presented. Camera design and major hardware elements are discussed, and camera performance is compared to that of pushbroom and panoramic E-O cameras. The paper also describes the modes of operation and shows examples of step frame imagery.
Recon/Optical, Inc. (ROI) has pioneered the electro-optical (E-O) framing generation of sensors with the CA-260, a KS-87 form/fit camera with a wafer-scale focal plane array (FPA) containing a patented, on-chip, forward motion compensation (FMC) architecture. The technology has now matured to the state where production E-O framing cameras are form/fit replacing their former film counterparts. During this interim production phase, flight demonstrations and tests are continuing to prove that E-O framing produces high-quality imagery, is robust to various platforms and mission tactics, interoperable with existing and planned C3I architectures, affordable and available, and meets the war-fighters needs. This paper discusses flight test results of the CA-260 E-O framing sensor flown in the F-14A TARPS during September 1994. This demonstration provided some unique imagery permitting a comparison of low-light level, in-flight FMC-on versus FMC-off performance. A first-level comparison of the resulting imagery based upon predicted FMC performance and post- processing numerical analysis is presented. The results indicae that the patented FMC architecture performed as predicted, and that for low-light conditions resulting in limited SNR images, on-chip FMC can provide a significant image quality improvement over post- processing alternatives.
Electronic imaging technology has advanced to the point where sophisticated wafer-scale imaging devices are on the verge of being fielded for demanding military reconnaissance applications. High-density, 4-Mpixel, and 25-Mpixel silicon CCD detectors have been fabricated and integrated into a proof-of-concept reconnaissance sensor, the CA-260. One unique feature of this sensor is its ability to compensate for image motion during very high- speed imaging conditions. This paper discusses the patented detector architecture and system design considerations of the CA-260, and review the results of flight tests conducted on various military aircraft during 1993 and 1994.
Recon/Optical, Inc. (ROI) has developed the CA-260 Advanced Development E-O Framing Camera specifically to provide near-photographic quality images while enhancing the survivability of the tactical reconnaissance platforms at low to medium altitudes. The CA-260, mounted in a T-33 jet trainer, completed three successful engineering flight tests over the Edwards AFB test range on July 17 - 31, 1993. The flight tests were part of ROI's research and development program to develop E-O framing camera technology. These tests marked a major milestone in the program and proved that an E-O framing camera can successfully perform tactical reconnaissance missions. This paper presents the details of the engineering flight tests performed at Mojave, Calif. By way of introduction, the concept of E-O framing tactical reconnaissance and its advantages in terms of aircraft survivability are reviewed. The purpose, equipment configuration, mission specifics and flight summaries are discussed. Examples of flight test imagery are presented with some analysis of the CA-260's performance.
An electro-optical (E-O) area array reconnaissance detector has been developed which accomplishes forward motion compensation electronically and without moving parts. The detector is organized into column groups which can be individually clocked at separate and controlled rates to accommodate graded image motion which occurs when viewing objects from a moving platform, such as a reconnaissance aircraft. The advantage of this development is that is permits E-O imaging using area array detectors (i.e., a framing sensor) which allow reconnaissance mission profiles and tactics very similar to those available when using film cameras. These mission profiles and tactics afford a distinct improvement in the survivability of the aircraft and aircrew over current linear `pushbroom' sensor technology.
Survivability has been a key operative word for the commanders of today's Air Force. Today's technology offers a substantial threat which challenges mission success, mission equipment, and platform survivability. In particular, the transition from photographic to electro-optical (E-O) tactical reconnaissance presents survivability issues that must be addressed today to properly plan and train for near-term deployment. In addition, the declining defense budget environment mandates that the USAF optimize its modern reconnaissance mission equipment to enhance tactical survivability. This paper discusses current, nonclassified, tactical reconnaissance mission tactics as taught at the Air National Guard Reconnaissance Weapons School. It examines the advantages and disadvantages of E-O technology in terms of mission, aircrew, and platform survivability and draws conclusions supporting the need for reconnaissance mission equipment which enhances survivability.