Terminal Guidance for Autonomous Aerial Refueling
Department of Defense
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Epsilon Lambda Electronics Corp.
396 Fenton Lane, Suite 601, West Chicago, IL, 60185
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AbstractThis topic is designed by the US Naval Air Systems Command to develop a self contained terminal guidance system (TGS) that autonomously detects and tracks the drogue from an airborne fuel tanker in the vicinity of UAV host platform for purposes of accomplishing Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR). The TGS sensor should be compact, light weight and consume low power. The autonomous sensor system is desired to operate as payload on unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for refueling and extending the flight mission time of the UAV. Proposed herein is an AAR Terminal Guidance System that; (1) Provides Three Dimensional object resolution, utilizing high resolution dual mode sensor with millimeter wave ranging radar plus EO/IR camera, thus ensuring excellent range resolution and cross range resolution, (2) Incorporates imaging, tracking, and homing software, (3) Operates under all weather and environmental conditions, (4) Provides accurate relative orientation measurement between the refueling probe on the aircraft and the drogue, (5) Maintains stealth under normal flight, deployed only during refueling, and (6) Will not interfere with the functionality of the refueling system.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.