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Multisensing Target Discrimination System




The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an autonomous capability for missile systems to perform real time discrimination between targets, such as Rolled Homogeneous Armor and MOUT. Increase missile system lethality by rapidly and accurately identifying the target and automatically configuring the warhead.

DESCRIPTION: There is a need to develop an autonomous capability for missiles and munitions to discriminate between Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA) and various other softer targets on impact in real-time. Given the hardness of some targets, especially stone masonry, there needs to be a mechanism in place to identify an armor target from a MOUT target. In the absence of gunner input or a magnetometer, this task is not currently possible. Previous research focused on developing target signatures from impact sensors. This program will fuse data from multiple sensors to provide input to a configurable warhead for increased lethality effects. The sensors must be rugged and durable to survive high impact velocities greater than 200mps. Total system volume should not exceed 3 cubic inches.

RHA was chosen to represent very hard targets/materials such as tanks and heavily armored vehicles. Softer targets could include, but are not limited to brick, sand and thin steel. These materials represent targets such as cars, non-armored vehicles, bunkers, etc... The overall system should provide a discrimination result in less than 100 microseconds, with a 95% efficiency and reliability rating.

PHASE I: Determine the feasibility of integrating multiple sensors to discriminate between RHA and softer materials. Document and provide target classification data from the individual sensors. Measure, analyze and document the effect of impact angle and velocity on the sensor system response. Document potential improved resilience against false triggering on brush, branches, etc. Provide a conceptual graphical depiction of the end system, detailing the inputs to an advanced fuzing system for multi-purpose, multi-mode anti-armor warheads. Laboratory demonstration of the concept technology would be beneficial and useful for data collection and entry to the Phase II process.

PHASE II: Fabricate the electronics and data acquisition system for the Phase I sensor system. Integrate the multiple sensors with the electronics and data acquisition system. Test integrated device amongst complete target set (hard and soft targets). Demonstrate accuracy and reliability of target discrimination system.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The technology can be integrated with an advanced seeker and has a direct, fully supported transition path into the next generation close combat missile or munition. The advanced electronics and sensing capabilities can be transitioned to commercial applications.


  • Fridling, Barry, “The State Of Multiple Sensor, Multiple Target Tracking In Ballistic Missile Defense.” IDA PAPER P-2590.
  • Cech, Len, “Active Magnetic Field Based Sensing for Improved Detection and Discrimination of Side Impact Crashes.”
  • Patent US6378435. “Variable target transition detection capability and method therefor”
  • Patent US4019440. “Impact discriminating apparatus for missiles and the like, and method for impact discrimination.”

KEYWORDS: acoustic sensors, impact sensors, magnetometers, advanced optical sources, broadband optics, data fusion, target discrimination


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