SELEX Galileo has been involved in the development, manufacture and support of high performance electro-optic pointing and stabilisation systems for over forty years. The Company currently supplies the pointer/trackers for the AN/AAQ-24(V) NEMESIS DIRCM system, for which over 1,000 combat-proven units have been produced and deployed in the US, the UK and other nations. In 2007, SELEX Galileo embarked on an internally funded programme to develop ECLIPSE, a new advanced, lightweight, low-cost IRCM pointer/tracker, exploiting the extensive knowledge and experience gained from previous targeting and IRCM programmes. The ECLIPSE design is centred on a low inertia, two-axis servo mechanism with a strap-down inertial sensor and advanced sightline control algorithms, allowing effective tracking through the nadir and providing superior sightline performance. The programme involved the production of three demonstrator units in 2007, and two pre-production units in 2008. The demonstrator units were first trialled as part of a NEMESIS DIRCM system in late 2007, and in April 2008 100% success was achieved in jamming live-fire demonstrations. Helicopter installation and ground testing of a UK only trials system is complete, initial flight testing has just begun, and the airborne test and evaluation scheduled for late summer 2008 will bring the ECLIPSE System to technology readiness to level 7 (TRL7). This paper describes the Eclipse performance demonstrated to date.
Laser based imaging systems are becoming common in a number of applications. Many of these systems rely on
scanning the laser and receiver over the scene to construct an image. A single pulse laser gated imaging system
employing a two dimensional focal plane array sensor has been developed by SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems
Ltd (SELEX S&AS). The system has been deployed on field trials to gather data in order to assess the suitability of the
technology for a number of applications. The test system has been used to characterise and optimise subsystem and
system level performance, to assess the effects of atmospheric phenomena on system performance, and to gather field
data in various applications and scenarios. Recent system and subsystems enhancements to the Laser Gated Imaging, or
Burst Illumination LADAR (BIL), test rig are described. Changes to the laser subsystem, the sensor subsystem and the
system level integration aspects of the rig resulting from field trials experience and on going system development are
discussed. The recent developments for the system control, data and image processing suites are also addressed.
Operational observations, images and results from recent field trials, including operation in an airborne environment, are
presented and discussed.
BAE SYSTEMS has developed a laser-illuminated, gated imaging system for long range target identification which has generated bright images at ranges in excess of 10km from modest laser energies. The system is based on a short pulsewidth laser and a custom detector for sensing the return pulse. The source is a Nd YAG laser converted by an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) to 1571nm and producing 20ns pulses at 15Hz. The detector (named SWIFT) is a 320x256 array of HgCdTe photodiodes operating with high avalanche gain to achieve sensitivities as low as 10 photon rms. A custom silicon multiplexer performs the signal injection and temporal gating function, and adds additional electronic gain. Trials show that the current detectors have gate edges equivalent to 1.5m in range and complete extinction of signals outside of the gated range. The detector is encapsulated in an integrated-detector-cooler-assembly and utilises standard productionised thermal imaging electronics to perform non-uniformity correction and grey scale images. Imaging trials using the camera have shown little excess noise, crosstalk or non-uniformity due to the use of avalanching in the HgCdTe photodiodes up to gains of over 100. The images have shown high spatial resolution arising from the use of solid state focal plane array technology. The imagery, collected both in the laboratory and in field trials, has been used to explore the phenomenology unique to laser-illuminated targets and to verify system models.
Conference Committee Involvement (6)
SPIE Security + Defence
26 September 2016 | Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Technologies for Optical Countermeasures V
15 September 2008 | Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
This course provides attendees with a detailed background in the benefits and applications of laser gated imaging, also known as Burst Illumination Ladar (BIL). This technique covers the use of laser illumination in conjunction with focal plane arrays to improve the ability to detect and identify objects across a wide range of scenarios. The course concentrates on the components involved in such a system, the phenomena that are unique to laser illumination, and the performance one can expect from laser illuminated sensing. Practical examples to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of these systems will be covered. At the end of this course, you will be knowledgeable in the types of sources and sensors that can be used and the image processing that can be applied to optimize the system performance.