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Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS)

Digital Imaging

Primary Purpose TARPS provides tactical wet film photographs and

TARPS Completely Digital Imagery (CD) to area


Sub-Functions TARPS imagery has proven useful in supporting

crisis relief operations by enabling rescue and

relief personnel to quickly determine the

hardest-hit areas and areas that require

immediate assistance. Integration of new sensors

and control systems by various contract vendors

and other Government agencies continue to improve

TARPS capabilities and expanded functionality

can be expected.

Equipment Requirements TARPS is housed in a LA-610 pod mounted on

weapons station #5 of the F-14. Equipment mounted

in the TARPS pod consists of the KS-87D Serial

Framing camera, the KS-153/KS-153B Long-range

Standoff framing camera, the KA-99 Low Altitude

Panoramic camera, or the AAD-5 Infrared Line

Scanner system. The complete Digital pod

incorporates the CA-261 Electro-optical camera,

the U2 Interoperable Ground data link, the

CA-2000 Image display system, and the Ampex DCR

240 digital recorder, allowing for real-time

imagery dissemination. The imagery can be viewed

in the aircraft for frame selection and


Connectivity Requirements Film from the TARPS pod is hand carried to the

EH-38 film processor located in CVIC or the photo

lab on ship. TARPS CD requires a CDL (Common

Data Link) using the CHBDL system. (Common High

Band Data Link) or by using the DCRS

transmit/receive link from/to an FTI equipped

aircraft or it maybe transmitted/received

aircraft to aircraft. The Digital Camera

Receiving Station (DCRS) is located in CVIC,

SWATSLANT, or a Portable Digital Camera Receiving

Station (PDCRS) which is manned by the INTEL


Crypto Requirements Film and CD imagery are classified by their

content. The TARPS DI imagery is encrypted

through the KY-58 encryption device.

Normal Locations There are normally 4 TARPS pods in a squadron.

This will now vary with the incorporation of CD

pods in the inventory. There are 42 TARPS pods,

plus 6 CD equipped pods and one designated for

use with the SHARPS program as a "Risk

Mitigation" flight test item.

Information Managed Hard copy imagery and near real time digital


Products Created Film and digital photo imagery.

Lead Service/Contractor The TARPS system was entirely designed and

manufactured by the U. S. Government. Naval Air

Development Center (NADC Warminster, PA) built

six engineering test models and Naval Aviation

Center Indianapolis built the production units.

Depot level maintenance was transferred from Hill

AFB to Raytheon Inc. Indianapolis and Tricor

inc. Elgin IL.

Current Fielding Status TARPS is scheduled to remain in service until it

is replaced by the F-18 E/F SHARPS system or yet

unannounced system.

Known Problems The majority of the problems associated with

TARPS stem from the failure of older sensors,

equipment and the impact of climate extremes on

wet film. Aircrew training/operation is also of

significant impact.

DIICOE Compliance Rating Not rated.

Point of Contact Mr. Neil Bellamy, TARPS representative, Naval Air

Station, Oceana, email TARPSREP@AOL.COM

Updated by Capt Douglas J. Scott, CCSC-01



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