This paper describes experiences and results from developing a basic signal and data processing simulation for a pair of GEO IR sensors observing the boost phase of Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBM). The goal of such a system is the detection of launched TBM, also against a cloud background, and the tracking from cloud break ideally up to boost-end. Two GEO satellites are used for stereo view of one and the same non-global limited Field-of-Regard (FOR). They are positioned in such a way that both cover the FOR and provide a sufficient triangulation baseline. Signal Processing is applied for each of both passive IR sensors in order to detect and track the TBM on the focal plane. The applied approach can be summarized under the term 'velocity filtering'. Data Processing operates on the 2-D signal processing input from both IR sensors, i.e. azimuth and elevation line-of-sight (LOS) angles as well as their rates. The goal is to
provide 3-D tracks of the targets, which can be used to cue early warning or fire control radars. The underlying simulation model constitutes a prototype and vehicle for further research. Nevertheless, even in its current stage it provides a first tool for the analysis and evaluation of corresponding sensor design concepts.
Active Defense with non-nuclear interceptors against Theater or Tactical Ballistic Missiles TBM will become feasible during the next few years. The efficient operation of lower or upper layer weapon systems mainly depend on a relatively accurate cue from satellites and/or long range radars. Geostationary satellites are able to observe the boost phase of TBM and the IR sensor can be designed to provide a rather accurate boost end state vector from which a sufficiently precise prediction of the TBMs free flight trajectory can be derived. Different search strategies for upper and lower layer weapon system radars have to be applied in order to achieve a high detection range gain compared to the autonomous mode of search. The paper will present a simulation approach which is used to evaluate the advantage of dedicated TBM Early Warning IR sensors on GEO satellites.