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Dynamic Infrared Projections: Time/Posture Thermal Representation and SAF Integration


OBJECTIVE: Design and build an inexpensive and ruggedized infrared projection system that can be utilized to create accurate real-time dynamic thermal representations on target silhouettes or other mediums based on training doctrine within the various live and virtual training applications to enhance realism and feedback for the trainee. DESCRIPTION: A dynamic infrared projection system technology would support the creation of a high fidelity, real-time thermal representation within the Live and/or Virtual training domains. The technology would provide an accurate and realistic thermal portrayal of battlefield entities, vehicles, threats, and terrain conditions, to include posture based, time based, and event based modifications to the thermal representations. This technology development will advance thermal representations to be consistent with thermal imaging technology used by soldiers and tactical platforms. Current technology/solutions are heating pads adhered to target silhouettes. The shapes are not accurate, get damaged with live fire engagements, and create thermal bleeding (non-realism). The shapes are static with respect to time, and do not allow for changes in thermal representations over time, movement, or posture changes. Based on user feedback, thermal pads provide an unrealistic and limited training experience to soldiers. The proposed technology would remove the thermal generation from the line of fire; would support the CGI development of highly accurate (ROC-V/CID) thermal representations which would be time/movement/action based. IR projector would also provide positive threat fire (vice delayed pyrotechnic solution) and vehicle kill indications (vice simple target silhouette lowering). IR projector could be coupled with a simple screen, non-contact hit sensors, and a SAF model to project multiple targets/threats simultaneously. The potential use cases for the technology would: Allow for the thermal representation to change hull or turret orientation toward the training participant based on training scenario or trainee action Allow for the thermal representation to provide a status indication of killed or damaged via changes to image Allow for the thermal representation to provide a visual muzzle flash and instant hot turret/barrel Allow for the thermal representation to provide an escalation of force from the target (a hostile person raising from bed of a pick-up armed with an RPG The proposed technology would support enhanced realism in the training domains, and provides a means to link virtual and constructive domains into the live domain. The dynamic infrared projection system technology would have to support operational conditions to include, open air environment, daylight, nighttime, rain and snow conditions, and could not rely on cooling systems. The dynamic IR projection system would require a high reliability, and would have to require minimal maintenance actions. PHASE I: Study, research, and conduct initial integration and design concepts of core technology components for the dynamic infrared projection system. Synchronization of work being completed by RDECOM, PM ITTS, PEO STRI and academia will be required. Determine feasibility of adapting DSP/DLP technology to support IR protection, development of supporting lens technology (low cost, durable), and ruggedized platform to support performance in open air environments (without cooling systems). Determine feasibility of a mixed mode projection system to support simultaneous visual and infrared images PHASE II: Refine design and continue technology investigation and integration into a prototype baseline, and implement basic modeling methods, algorithms, and interfaces between the control system and the projections system. Investigate integration with OneSAF and virtual training systems to provide a projection of the constructive or virtual entities. Create algorithms to project multi-layer scenes onto a single medium. Focus on environmental stability and reliability enhancements. Prototype basic model on a live fire range. Demonstration will be at TRL 6. PHASE III: Military application: Transition technology to the Army Program of Record called Future Army System of Integrated Targets. Technology would be viable for both digital and non-digital ranges, urban operations, and other live training ranges where the injection of realistic IR imaging is required for training feedback. Develop modes of operations where the dynamic IR outputs equate to inputs into other training or testing system. Commercial application: Test beds for commercial sensors with applications in infrared vision, monitoring, and imaging systems.
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