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Multi-aperture Sensor for Hypersonic Applications
Phone: (626) 578-0626
Phone: (626) 578-0662
ABSTRACT: The U.S. Air Force has a need to develop a new forward looking infrared imaging system that can actively mitigate thermal loading associated with munitions flight speeds greater than Mach 5. Excessive thermal loading causes the viewing domes to emit a high background radiance, which saturates the sensor and reduces the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) below the level required for reliable targeting, guidance, navigation, and situational awareness. During Phase 1, the Spectral Imaging Laboratory (SPILAB) designed and analyzed a bio-inspired, multiple aperture seeker that can utilize active cooling throughout the viewing apertures to eliminate the problems associated with high temperature thermal loading. During Phase 2, SPILAB will build a prototype for hypersonic wind tunnel testing to confirm that a multiple aperture seeker can view through a hot bow wave. BENEFIT: The actively cooled, multi-aperture seeker will enable hypersonic missiles and munitions to navigate and target using forward looking infrared sensing. The seeker will be useful for both Air-to-Surface and Air-to-Air missiles. The forward looking imaging capability will also be useful for future aircraft traveling at hypersonic speeds.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *