Passive Optical Taggants for Laser Designated Friend or Foe Identification
ABSTRACT: In this effort, we will develop a passive taggant device for laser-designated Identification of Friend or Foe. The end result of the program will be a device that meets the definition of Technology Readiness Level 5 or 6. As part of the program we will conduct a field test at operationally realistic distance using a standard military EO/IR/laser sensor package. This technology is a critical tool for reducing fratricide incidence both within the US armed forces, and also between US and coalition forces. Key aspects of the technology include (a) no onboard power requirement; (b) detectable at long ranges with conventional EO/IR equipment; and (c) low unit cost. BENEFIT: The basic paradox that prevents wide adoption of taggant technology stems from two conflicting realities: The cost and time required to field a dedicated, optimized taggant sensor is impractical given the limited scale on which optical taggants are currently used; yet, Practical field demonstration of taggant capabilities cannot be conducted with current sensors (whether EO/IR, night vision, LIDAR, target designators, or rangefinders). The proposed technology will avoid this paradox by allowing taggant operations using a currently fielded sensor. Applications include Identification of Friend or Foe (Combat ID), Search and Rescue, and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance.
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