Remote Triggering And Detection Of Mid-Wave Infrared Signals From Individual Thermal Identification

Major Scott Jones, USMC

Abstract: Friendly fire and positive identification of targets continue to be problems in modern warfare. No active identification beacons are currently fielded that are visible to aircrew in aircraft thermal targeting sensors. This Marine Corps-funded research project, a continuation of prior work done by the Haegel group at Naval Postgraduate School, developed two laser target designator-triggered, individual thermal identification friend or foe prototype beacons that are visible on aircraft mid-wave infrared targeting sensors at ranges consistent with tactical employment of laser-guided ordnance. This is the first work to successfully demonstrate such capabilities in a beacon compact enough to be worn by the individual warfighter. Multiple laboratory and field tests were conducted to determine prototype power requirements and possible modulation rates. These experiments compared the prototype beacons to a commercially available Nova thermal beacon. These tests demonstrated the feasibility of a remotely-triggered, compact device for dismounted troops to mitigate the mistaken engagement of friendly personnel. The automation of beacon signal detection was demonstrated and serves as a proof of concept for automatic signal detection by aircraft targeting systems. This automation, coupled with both audio and visual warning to aircrew, would reduce pilot workload, increase situation awareness, and reduce fratricide potential.

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Jul 07, 2015

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