|Countermeasure Concepts against Anti-Aircraft Dual band EO/IR Imaging Seekers|
|Systems Concepts and Integration|
Aircraft selfprotection, Digital Simulations, DIRCM, Dualband imaging, EOIR CMCCM, EOIR Imaging Missiles, Field trials, Flares, Imaging Seeker Surrogate, SelfDefense Suites
Infrared and Electro-Optically (EO/IR) guided missiles are constantly evolving, and pose an increasing threat to aircraft. In fact, developments in infrared and electro-optical technology have led to EO/IR imaging seekers with far improved capabilities to reject conventional Countermeasures (CM): the first generation (line scanning) entered into service in the late 90s; the second generation (focal plane array - single band) entered into service in the mid-2000s; the latest anti-aircraft guided missiles are now thought to use third generation dual-band imaging seekers to further increase performance. This paced evolution imposes a constant challenge upon CM techniques and to the evolution of Self-Defense Suites and CM technologies.
The proposed activity will be based on the achievements of SCI-139, SCI-192, SCI-239, and SCI-282. Through a cycling process involving capability development and CM assessment with digital simulations and field trials, these activities allowed the SCI-282 team to elaborate CM concepts against various generations of imaging seekers. SCI-139 created tools and techniques to evaluate and test IRCM concepts: Fly-In for digital simulations and the Imaging Seeker Surrogate (ISS) for seeker hardware simulation. Then, SCI-192 tested the implementation of an IRCM strategy at a very preliminary stage through Fly-In missile engagement simulation studies and by participating in NATO field trials to verify IRCM effectiveness. The activity demonstrated the technological rupture between the proliferating non-imaging missiles and the arising imaging missiles in terms of CM rejection capabilities. Through the extensive use of the Fly-In digital simulation, the SCI-239 activity then identified promising IRCM techniques for various types of aircraft. Finally, the SCI-282 activity returned to the capability development cycle by enriching the toolsets with new tracking algorithms representative of more recent missile generations, in addition to adapting the simulation tools and processes for dual-band algorithms extended to the full EO/IR domain. With these new capabilities, the most credible dual-band EO/IR seeker configurations were identified and their potential performances were evaluated. This was done while pursuing the development of CM techniques identified in SCI-239 and testing them in simulations and field trials.
In the context previously described, the proposed activity aims to continue development of IRCM techniques against imaging seekers, with particular focus on the following new aspects:
- Extend the protection coverage and field trial demonstrations of IRCM techniques against the first two generations of imaging seekers;
- Take advantage of new capabilities and prioritized wavebands developed/identified by SCI-282, to develop CM concepts against dual-band EO/IR imaging seekers;
- Establish imaging-seeker specific requirements for future generations of CM technologies and Self-Defense Suites; and,
- Explore opportunities to assess the applicability & effectiveness of the generic CM techniques developed for imaging seekers against legacy/non-imaging seekers.
Also, through the fruitful cooperation with NAFAG AG3/SG2, it is aimed to take the opportunity of field trials to:
- Record image sequences of innovative CMs for model development and simulation studies; and,
- Assess effectiveness of promising imaging CM techniques in front of surrogate seekers.
The expected deliverable is a STO technical report proposing and demonstrating new CM concepts and requirements to increase air platform protection against single and dual-band EO/IR imaging seekers.
The major scientific topic areas of the proposed activity are (but not limited to):
- Aircraft protection;
- EO/IR CM techniques;
- Flare CMs and laser CMs (DIRCM);
- Self-Defense Suites;
- Dual-band imaging seekers;
- Digital simulation of missile engagements; and,
- Field trials with imaging seeker surrogates.
The proposed activity being an evolution from previous Task Groups, the advances in each topic are expected to be evolutionary. The main advances are expected to be on CM techniques, and in the establishment of requirements for future CM technologies and Self-Defense Suites.