Fire Control and Damage Assessment Decision Aid for Video Trackers
Small Business Information
Po Box 1148 Or Hwy. 478 At, East Organ Rd, Mesilla Park, NM, 88047
Dr. Alton L. Gilbert
AbstractThe crew of direct fire weapon systems in an active fire fight are subject to information overload and conflicting priorities, particularly in a target-rich environment. Such parameters as distance to target, immediacy of threat, target value assessment (TVA), lethality against a specific target type, slew angle required to engage, and type of round in the tube may all be factors in selecting which of several targets to engage, even when operating independently. Additional factors in coordinated attacks/defense include sectors of responsibility, target-firer designation from external control, situation awareness based upon intel, and maneuver objectives of the force may further complicate the selection and order of engagement. Tracking airborne and ground-based targets using video or FLIR-based autotrackers in a combat environment is a complex and difficult task. A number of factors contribute to the difficulty, including intentional employment of camouflage and masking techniques, presence of battlefield obscurant including aerosols and dust, contrast reversals because of illumination angles or background changes, detection/tracking requirements at extreme ranges resulting in both small object size and potential atmospheric turbulence effects, target geometries and dynamics relative to the observing tracker, including high-speed cross range engagements and partially obscured targets, periodic momentary obscuration by physical objects (clumps of trees, clouds, terrain LOS), intentional use of clutter (chaff, flares), and other interfering conditions. A successful autotracker must compensate for many of these conditions through robust operation using changes in tracking strategies and algorithms based upon the tracking environment. A requirement exists for an aid to the crew that will optimize the target selection process based upon dynamically changeable criteria, perform the fire control function once the recommended target selection is accepted, and actively track and perform TVA on additional targets for subsequent engagement, using a state-of-the-art video tracker. Additionally the aid should perform target damage assessment on the target being engaged, rec
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