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Activity title

Assessment Methods for Camouflage in Operational Context

Activity Reference

SCI-287

Panel

Systems Concepts and Integration

Security Classification

Other

Status

Active

Activity type

RTG

Start date

2016

End date

2019

Keywords

Camouflage Systems, Coalition Forces, Effectiveness, Environmental Factors, Interoperability, Mobile Camouflage, Multispectral, Operational Scenarios, Performance Evaluation, Performance Requirements, RSTA Sensors, Signature management, Test and Evaluation Procedures

Background

In the evaluation and design of camouflage systems the military operational context currently plays a small role, whereas it is crucial to assess the performance of these systems in military practice. For instance, most evaluations are performed in a controlled and static setting while dynamic environmental aspects are largely ignored. In some circumstances the added value of camouflage will be marginal (e.g. in dense forest) while in other situations camouflage can make an important contribution to survivability. It would be prudent to opt for camouflage that is adapted to enhancing survivability. Such aspects should be part of the evaluation procedure and incorporated into models that seek to predict performance in a military context. Also, it is not clear how improved performance measured during evaluation translate to the added benefit when used in military operations. A first step towards good understanding of camouflage effectiveness in operational scenarios has been made by SCI-212 that identified the military requirements for camouflage systems. Their study showed that the evaluation of camouflaged targets in a tactical operational setting proves to be difficult. We intend to investigate new assessment methods that take military strategies and context into account. We will investigate the application of wargaming (e.g. VBS) and simulation tools to the evaluation of camouflage systems. We expect that this approach will allow us to account for the operational and dynamic aspects, as well the variability in context for different scenarios. Some aspects will require highly realistic simulations. We will therefore investigate and evaluate the use of photorealistic simulation and gaming. The wargaming context may be enhanced by embedding real sensor recordings, possibly originating from earlier studies and other recorded material (e.g. SCI-212). We will investigate the possibility of validating the results with the outcome of field trials (existing material or from collaboration with other (NATO) research involving field trials). A crucial aspect is the use of realistic operational scenarios, so a set of critical scenarios and contexts will be established in interaction with military experts, on which the evaluation will be based (such as ambush, patrol and hasty defence).

Objectives

The main objective of the TG is to investigate and verify recommended techniques for incorporating the operational context in camouflage assessment and requirement analysis. Interfaces between different existing software packages will be incorporated into a framework for assessing camouflage utitlity at different levels. This study should lead to evaluation methods that are able of capturing the operational context including time dependent factors and aspects such as variation in weather conditions, seasonal variations, movement, tactical use of equipment, adaptive camouflage, operating theatre, spectrally designed materials and lighting conditions. The focus will lie on personal camouflage and camouflage systems for vehicles in visual, near infrared and thermal infrared spectral regions. Radar signatures might also be taken into consideration. Here we will focus on the application of these new methods (e.g. wargaming, physics based models, photo-realistic simulation, and models of operational effectiveness, morphological analysis) to the assessment of existing camouflage techniques also in time depending conditions. We expect these techniques to be highly useful for the investigation and development of future camouflage concepts (e.g. adaptive camouflage, see SCI-230). Results and methods from SCI-230, SCI-212 and SCI-219 will be utilized in this project.

Topics

• Analysis of various (time dependent) factors including weather conditions, seasonal variations, movement, use of equipment, operating theatre and lighting conditions. • Define proper measures of effectiveness • Interfaces between modelling and simulation tools at different levels • Generation of scenes for typical vignettes • Degree of (photo)realism of simulations required for different applications. • Use of wargaming for evaluation and requirement analysis of camouflage. • Models of operational effectiveness (e.g. IWARS). • Morphological analysis on benefits of camouflage when used in a military operation • Organize workshop with invited military

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