Portable Missile Miss-Distance Identification System (PMMDIS)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9201-11-C-0053
Agency Tracking Number: F083-254-1794
Amount: $735,672.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-254
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Small Business Information
11 Apollo Drive, Whippany, NJ, -
DUNS: 015334899
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Marscher
 President and Technical D
 (973) 326-9920
Business Contact
 William Marscher
Title: President and Technical D
Phone: (973) 326-9920
Email: wdm@mechsol.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) missiles are a serious threat to aircraft. Susceptibility is typically examined using computer modeling techniques where an infrared (IR) model of the aircraft is generated and a missile is digitally flown toward the aircraft to determine if it hits or misses. To increase the accuracy of these models, large amounts of data on actual free-flight missile miss-distance is required to model missile performance distributions that more closely match reality. This will allow susceptibility models to be validated, providing better data for the warfighter and developers of countermeasures. To facilitate data acquisition at live fire missile tests, a Portable Missile Miss-Distance Identification System (PMMDIS) is proposed. The PMMDIS will automatically determine missile miss-distances within +/-3 inches for missiles missing their targets by as much as 60 ft. In addition to the high level of accuracy, the system will be portable, easy to set up, light weight, permit remote operation and post processing of missile test data, and perform for daytime and nighttime missile tests. The system will also require minimal user interaction, provide sufficient power to operate for 15 days of continuous uninterrupted recording, and perform auto-calibration if a camera is moved during the test. BENEFIT: At the conclusion of the proposed Phase II project, MSI will deliver a Portable Missile Miss-Distance Identification System (PMMDIS) to the 46th TG/OL-AC Aerospace Survivability & Safety Operating Location that can be used at several different ranges. The initial PMMDIS system is modular in design so that it forms a foundation for a product family so that MSI and its current and future partners can pursue alternative military and commercial applications. While the initial efforts for PMMDIS development will focus on creating a product that meets the Air Force"s unique needs for assessing MANPADS missile miss-distances during free-flight launch tests, the system will have adaptation potential to a number of other military and commercial uses. There are three paths for pursing additional applications by leveraging the Phase II project results. The first path requires relatively minor PMMDIS system modifications to meet requirements for measuring missile orientation as it leaves the launch tube and for measuring the lethality effectiveness of guided and unguided bombs. The second longer term path focuses on applications such as a UAV-based lethality battle damage analysis system and a system that provides warning and activation of Infrared Counter Measures (IRCM) for both military and commercial aircraft. The third path includes commercial applications such as stereo vision and imaging products for tracking golf balls, baseballs, and video graphics. The disruptive technology for all three paths is providing highly accurate measurements using a relatively low cost camera based sensor (and advanced processing software) when compared to more expensive radar or laser measurement systems. A further adaptation of PMMDIS can be made to evaluate the lethality effectiveness of other weapon systems such as guided and unguided bombs. Large bombing ranges, such as 46th Test Wing"s ranges at Eglin AFB, want a low-cost system to rapidly assess bombing accuracy. The adaption can be accomplished with reduced funding levels due to leveraging the technology developed in the PMMDIS program. The same system can be used for air-to-ground missile launches in lethality evaluations. It can also be used to assess missile accuracy for launches at target drones. Perhaps the most notable military or commercial derivation of PMMDIS involves the fielding of this system on aircraft to provide warning and activation of IRCM protection measures. A key advantage of MSI"s highly accurate system is the relatively low cost of the camera-based system versus methods that rely on higher cost radars or lasers. Approximately 80% of U.S. fixed-wing aircraft losses in Desert Storm were from ground based Iraqi defensive systems using IR SAMS. Both IR SAMS and IR air-to-air missiles have seekers with improved Counter-Countermeasures (CCM) capabilities that seriously degrade the effectiveness of current expendable decoys. By one estimate more than 500,000 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles exist and are available on the worldwide market. MSI has already designed such a system for RPG protection in ground vehicles using a variant of the PMMDIS as the sensor. The PMMDIS developments will be further examined for updating current missile warning systems on aircraft. The potential for a low-cost on-aircraft system that may be provided by PMMDIS will be extremely valuable with very competitive pay back time periods compared to other options. Other non-military or non-terrorist applications of the PMMDIS have also been conceived. The system has the potential to update previous work performed in the area of stereo vision and image processing for tracking golf balls or even baseballs for television graphics. It can also be used for indoor training aids for golf, baseball pitching/hitting, football passing/kicking, or other sports where trajectory, orientation, and velocity are important to track and project outward. For example, current systems for baseball strike zone monitoring provided by Questec use a 4 camera system. Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Sports Vision are releasing a more modern and more expensive system called Zone Evaluation that utilizes 12 cameras. Based on MSI"s initial evaluation, a variation of PMMDIS can provide the accuracy of the Zone Evaluation at a sell price comparable to the traditional Questec system. The MSI variant that is technically an equivalent to the Questec system will cost about two-thirds less than the current Questec system. This will make the system more affordable for college and minor league parks leading to a potential tenfold increase in market size.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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