Flight Control Technology for Tightly Controlled Hard Target Impact
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
This project develops an innovative, enabling technology for precision attitude control of Penetrating Munitions. An imaging sensor system is used to precisely measure airframe attitude relative to the velocity vector. The measurement is used by the autopilot to accurately align the airframe with its velocity during the impact phase of flight. This eliminates tail slap and promotes deeper penetration of hard targets. Tactical INS/GPS systems do not have sufficient accuracy. The Phase I program demonstrated excellent accuracy through analysis. The Phase II program demonstrates the strapdown imager performance through ground and flight testing. The resulting embedded sensor system will be suitable for integration into a Hardware-In-Loop simulation. Two Simulators will be delivered during the Phase II program: a Seeker Simulator and a Velocity Locator Simulator. The Seeker Simulator receives geospatial imagery and projects it into the viewpoint of the missile seeker using inertial states and camera parameters. The Velocity Locator Simulator receives digital imagery, either from the Seeker Simulator or another source, and precisely locates the position of the velocity vector. These Simulators will be compatible with Simulink 6DOF missile simulations and validated with flight testing. Phase III commercialization will be encouraged via demonstrations with government and industry primes. BENEFITS: The Air Force is faced with destroying targets that are ever more deeply buried and fortified. New generations of penetrating munitions need to be developed to meet this mission requirement. Higher speed airframes and advanced penetration technology warheads are key technologies that deliver and focus the energy required to penetrate and destroy these new, highly fortified targets. However, if the attitude of the penetrating munitions airframe is not closely aligned with its velocity vector at impact, then the energy will be dissipated prior to reaching the required depth. Inertial instruments cannot measure the misalignment with sufficient accuracy. This proposal offers to develop and demonstrate an innovative imaging system that precisely measures the angle between the munitions velocity vector and its centerline with an innovative, imagery based sensor. Once measured, the autopilot can rapidly zero this angle during the impact phase of the flight. This technology also creates the basis for an innovative guidance system. In addition to a Phase III transition for Boosted Penetrators, a transition to Phase III commercialization is encouraged by multiple Air Force, Army, Navy, and Special Operations applications requiring precise, covert, image-based terminal homing that has the robustness of a gyro-stabilized seeker system in a small, light weight, low cost strapdown configuration.
Small Business Information at Submission:
VP Optical Engineering Di
P.O. Box 2607 Winnetka, CA 91396
Number of Employees: