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Compact, Hemispherical Coverage Early Warning Detection and Track Sensor for Multi-Mission Applications


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics, 

OBJECTIVE: To develop a low-cost, compact early warning detection and tracking system for target tracking in support of mobile Army tactical platforms. 

DESCRIPTION: Many military weapon systems rely on radar technology that is on a different platform as an early warning detection and tracking system. Difficulties with this method arise in the radar handover latency being too long relative to the incoming threat trajectory, and target location errors in having the cueing radar on a different platform. A more favorable approach is to have a small, lightweight early warning threat detection system onboard the tactical platform housing the defensive weapon system. Low-cost compact radar technology has seen improvements in recent years, however complete hemispherical coverage is still problematic without requiring a large gimbal or multiple panels. Optical sensor options have been considered, but research, development, and experimentation are still required before this type technology would be transitioned to a weapon system. Optical sensor concepts for this type application may include a specialty hemispherical shaped lens that is capable of collecting am image from a full hemisphere and reshaping it onto a focal plane array. The early warning detection sensor must be a subsystem on a platform with a defensive type weapon system such as a high energy laser, and therefore must have a small footprint. The entire volume of the system shall be less than Threshold: 5 cubic feet and Objective: 3 cubic feet. The system must be capable of detecting rockets, artillery, and mortars (RAM); group 1-3 Unmanned Ariel Systems (UASs), cruise missiles, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), and Man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs). If successful, low-cost reduced SWaP early warning detection systems would significantly benefit many military and commercial applications such as High Energy Laser weapon platforms, small-satellite tracking applications, and the commercial aviation industry. Requirements: - FOV (Search Volume) - T: 180°; O: full hemispherical - Track rate – T: 10 Hz; O: 50 Hz - Angular Accuracy – T: 5 milliradian; O: 0.5 milliradian - Volume (including electronics)– T: 8 cubic feet; O: 3 cubic feet - Power Consumption – T: 1kW; O: 500W - Time of day operation – T: day; O: day and night - Targets and detection ranges: -RAM – T: 5 km; O:10 km -UASs – T: Group 1 at 3 km, Group 3 at 18 km; O: Group 2 at 10 km, Group 3 at 30 km -Cruise Missile – T: 8 km; O: 18 km -RPGs – T: 2 km; O: 5 km -MANPADs – T: 2 km; O: 5 km 

PHASE I: The phase I effort will result in the analysis and design the early warning detection system. Successful completion of the Phase I effort shall be a concept design that provides a high confidence in meeting the system requirements. Modeling and simulation, and / or laboratory experimentation shall be used to show efficacy of the concept design. 

PHASE II: The Phase I designs will be utilized to fabricate, test and evaluate a breadboard system. The designs will then be modified as necessary to produce a final prototype. The final prototype will be demonstrated to highlight acquisition and tracking performance parameters. 

PHASE III: Civil, commercial and military applications include short-range counter-RAM and UAV target tracking, remote sensing, small-satellite tracking, satellite communication, and other communication efforts. High energy laser weapons offer benefits of graduated lethality, rapid deployment to counter time-sensitive targets, and the ability to deliver significant force either at great distance or to nearby threats with high accuracy for minimal collateral damage. Future laser weapon applications will range from very high power devices used for air defense (to detect, track, and destroy incoming rockets, artillery, and mortars) to modest power devices used for counter-ISR. The Phase III effort would be to design and build a sensor that could be integrated into an Army’s High Energy Laser Weapon System for real time use as part of the fire control system. Military funding for this Phase III effort would be executed by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center as part of its Directed Energy research. 


1: P. A. Isaksen, E. Lovli "Multi Pulse Sweep System A New Generation Radar System," Radar 97, 14 - 16 October 1997, Publication No. 449, lEE 1997

KEYWORDS: Phased Array Radar; Interferometric Radar; Flat Panel; All-sky Sensor; Infrared Sensors, 

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