Efforts in developing a synthetic environment for testing light detection and ranging (LADAR) sensors in a hardware-in-the-loop simulation are continuing at the Aviation and Missile Research, Engineering, and Development Center of the U.S. Army Research, Engineering and Development Command (RDECOM). Current activities have concentrated on evaluating the optical projection techniques for the LADAR synthetic environment. Schemes for generating the optical signals representing the individual pixels of the projection are of particular interest. Several approaches have been investigated and tested with emphasis on operating wavelength, intensity dynamic range and uniformity, and flexibility in pixel waveform generation. This paper will discuss some of the results from these current efforts at RDECOM's System Simulation and Development Directorate's Electro Optical Technology Development Laboratory.
A sensor system for the characterization of infrared laser radar scene projectors has been developed. Available sensor
systems do not provide sufficient range resolution to evaluate the high precision LADAR projector systems developed
by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Aviation and Missile Research,
Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC). With timing precision capability to a fraction of a nanosecond, it
can confirm the accuracy of simulated return pulses from a nominal range of up to 6.5 km to a resolution of 4cm.
Increased range can be achieved through firmware reconfiguration. Two independent amplitude triggers measure both
rise and fall time providing a judgment of pulse shape and allowing estimation of the contained energy. Each return
channel can measure up to 32 returns per trigger characterizing each return pulse independently. Currently efforts
include extending the capability to 8 channels. This paper outlines the development, testing, capabilities and limitations
of this new sensor system.
Efforts in developing a synthetic environment for testing LADAR sensors in a hardware-in-the-loop simulation are continuing at the Aviation and Missile Research, Engineering, and Development Center (AMRDEC) of the U.S. Army Research, Engineering and Development Command (RDECOM). Current activities have concentrated on developing the optical projection hardware portion of the synthetic environment. These activities range from system level design down to component level testing. Of particular interest have been schemes for generating the optical signals representing the individual pixels of the projection. Several approaches have been investigated and tested with emphasis on operating wavelength, intensity dynamic range and uniformity, and flexibility in pixel waveform generation. This paper will discuss some of the results from these current efforts at RDECOM's Advanced Simulation Center (ASC).
Hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) testing has been an integral part of the modeling and simulation efforts at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Engineering, and Development Center (AMRDEC). AMRDEC's history includes the development and implementation of several unique technologies for producing synthetic environments in the visible, infrared, MMW and RF regions. With the emerging sensor/electronics technology, LADAR sensors are becoming more viable option as an integral part of weapon systems, and AMRDEC has been expending efforts to develop the capabilities for testing LADAR sensors in a HWIL environment. There are several areas of challenges in LADAR HWIL testing, since the simulation requirements for the electronics and computation are stressing combinations of the passive image and active sensor HWIL testing. There have been several key areas where advancements have been made to address the challenges in developing a synthetic environment for the LADAR sensor testing. In this paper, we will present the latest results from the LADAR projector development and test efforts at AMRDEC's Advanced Simulation Center (ASC).
Future types of direct detection LADAR seekers will employ focal plane arrays in their receivers. Existing LADAR scene projection technology cannot meet the needs of testing these types of seekers in a Hardware-in-the-Loop environment. It is desired that the simulated LADAR return signals generated by the projection hardware be representative of the complex targets and background of a real LADAR image. A LADAR scene projector has been developed that is capable of meeting these demanding test needs. It can project scenes of simulated 2D LADAR return signals without scanning. In addition, each pixel in the projection can be represented by a 'complex' optical waveform, which can be delivered with sub-nanosecond precision. Finally, the modular nature of the projector allows it to be configured to operate at different wavelengths. This paper describes the LADAR Scene Projector and its full capabilities.
Kinetic Energy Weapon (KEW) programs under the Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) need high fidelity infrared (IR) seekers. As imaging sensors have matured to support BMDO, the complexity of functions assigned to the KEW weapon systems has magnified the necessity for robust hardware-in- the-loop (HWIL) simulation facilities to reduce program risk. The IR projector, an integral component of a HWIL simulation, must reproduce the real world with enough fidelity that the unit-under-test algorithms respond to the projected images as though it were viewing the real world. For test scenarios involving unresolved objects, IR projector arrays have limitations which constrain testing accuracy. These arrays have limited dynamic range, spatial resolution, and spatial bandwidth for unresolved targets, decoys, and debris. The Steerable Laser Projector (SLP) will allow the HWIL simulation facility to address these testing issues. The Kinetic Kill Vehicle Hardware-in-the-loop Simulation (KHILS) facility located at Eglin AFB, FL is now in the process of integrating a projector array with the SLP. This new projector combines the capabilities of both projector technologies to provide KHILS with a unique asset that addresses many of the challenges that are required to support testing of state-of-the-art IR guided weapons.
An optical signal injector (OSI) system has been developed for use in the hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) testing of laser radar (LADAR) seekers. The OSI, in conjunction with a scene generator, generates optical signals simulating the return signals of a LADAR seeker and delivers them to a Unit Under Test. The signals produced by the OSI represent range and intensity (reflectivity) data of a target scene from a given HWIL scenario. The OSI has a modular architecture to allow for easy modification (e.g., operating wavelength, number of optical channels) and is primarily composed of commercial off-the-shelf components to improve reliability and reduce cost. Presented here is a description of the OSI and its capabilities.
A steerable laser infrared projector (SLP) has been designed by Aegis Research Corporation and is currently being integrated into the Kinetic Kill Vehicle Hardware-in-the- Loop Simulator facility located at the Wright Laboratory Armament Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, FL. The SLP utilizes lead salt laser diodes as the projector sources and two-axis galvanometer beam scanners to project six independently controlled point source targets to the unit- under-test. The laser diodes provide high intensity, 16 BIT radiometric resolution targets while the galvanometers provide wide angle, high precision (16 BIT) beam steering performance. Due to the nonlinear relationship between the input drive current and the output power of the diodes the calibration of the multiple sources is critical to the successful utilization of the projector.