Low Probability of Intercept Sensors
The Low Probability of Intercept Sensors was a US Navy Advanced Technology Demonstration that ran from FY93-FY96. The program consisted of two parts: Radiant Mist and Radiant Outlaw. Radiant Mist was an advanced electro-optic (EO) sensor for shipboard application, while Radiant Outlaw, its sister program, consisted of the same sensors packaged for airborne applications. Both contained passive visible, infrared (IR), and (active) laser radar sensors. These sensors were used to detect, track, and identify targets at unresolved ranges.
The Radiant Mist sensor system was a multi-mode passive/active sensor for detecting, tracking, and identifying targets from a shipboard platform. This EO system, when cued by shipboard radars or Infrared Search and Track (IRSTs), passively acquired and tracked targets for handover to a laser radar system for precision tracking and identification. A 3-D state vector (bearing, range, range rate ) on targets was generated and provided to the ship's combat system for weapons fire control and battle damage assessment. The high resolution thermal imaging sensors which direct the laser system also performed surveillance functions. The multi-functional system was integrated onto a McDonnell Douglas Mast Mounted Sight (NMMS) gimbal to perform a functional demonstration in an operational environment during the summer of 1996.
The Radiant Outlaw/Mist program developed hardware to perform target signature collections. The Radiant Mist system is capable of collection simultaneous IR, Visible and 3-D ladar imagery as well as range profiles and vibration sensing. The program fielded expert systems to perform autonomous classification using image based, range profiles, or vibration sensing. For unresolved targets it was determined that vibration sensing produced the best aspect invariant results. Vibration sensing is the only classification technique which is not tied to making a spatial measurement or comparison of key features, which drives sensor resolution requirements. The limiting performance factor for vibration sensing is the energy received on target not the targets size or geometry.
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