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Target Acquisition for Combat Operations (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The goals of this subthrust can best be described in three major categories: (1) the measurement of atmospheric parameters on space and time scales required to support Air Force missions in Global Reach-Global Power, (2) the prediction of the future evolution of the atmosphere from a few hours to a few days, and (3) the assessment of weather impact on Air Force systems and operations.

Description (U):

(U) Theater Specification for Dominant Maneuvers subthrust conducts R&D programs to better understand the physical and dynamic processes of the lower atmosphere in order to design, develop, test, and transition remote sensing instrumentation, retrieval algorithms, and models in support of air and space warfighters.

(U) Real-Time Measurements of Atmospheric Parameters From Satellites: The measurement goal emphasizes the application and interpretation of satellite sensor data, but also includes in-situ sensor development as part of the program. Measurement emphasis is on the three-dimensional determination of cloud cover at the highest spatial and temporal resolution to develop the models to support global surveillance and tactical warfare.

(U) Atmospheric Optical Turbulence Measurements and Modeling: The technical objective is to specify and predict the atmospheric optical turbulence degradation to ground, air, and space based laser systems. Optical turbulence is highly variable from site to site, season to season, and day to day; however, as yet there are no good predictive models. In a program initiated in FY96, supported by the Airborne Laser (ABL) SPO, Phillips Lab is obtaining optical turbulence data in theaters of interest to the SPO

(U) Tactical Remote Sensing: The technical objective is to provide from aircraft and satellite platforms remote sensing of battlefield gasses and emissions. The PL/GPOR lidar remote sensing program is set up to measure several atmospheric boundary layer parameters in high spatial resolution, including wind profiles, aerosol content and size distribution, as well as the detection of trace elements, both natural and man-made. Current assets include the following:
a. 10.6 micron CO2 Doppler range resolved wind profiler,
b. dual tunable 9 to 11 micron CO2 Doppler range resolved wind profiler and DIAL system to obtain range-resolved water vapor and trace gas profiles,
c. 1.574 micron Portable, Environmental, Eye-safe Lidar for range-resolved aerosol and cloud profiles in addition to cloud depolarization features.

(U) New assets soon to be on hand include a coherent, tunable UV DIAL system for water vapor and ozone detection, a mechanical turbulence lidar for wind sheer detection, and a refractive turbulence remote sensor to measure turbulence along a path.

(U) The Theater Forecast for Precision Engagements FTA develops tailored weather products to support combat mission planning and execution worldwide.

(U) Prediction of Clouds and Severe Weather: The prediction goal emphasizes the data fusion of satellite and indigenous data sources in the battlefield where data denial may be a factor. The resulting analysis fields will then be tested in theater-scale prediction models on time and space scales appropriate to tactical weapon delivery.

(U) Virtual Weather: The goal of this program is to produce computer simulations of the atmosphere, with high physical fidelity, valid as a function of location, season, time of day and geometry. In order to address these requirements, simulation models must be developed that produce three-dimensional structure --the major shortfall of current capability. Initial efforts involve improving the physical reality of current cloud simulation models. Other projects include development of rain, fog, wind, humidity, lightning, and turbulence models. A strong emphasis is placed on physically correct visualization and the generation of radiometrically correct atmospheric scenes.

(U) Weather Impact Decision Aids (WIDA): The WIDA program is developing software technology for operationally predicting the impact of weather on the performance of airborne electro-optical navigation and weapon targeting systems. The program presently has four major ongoing and/or planned components: (1) Night Vision Goggle Operations Weather Software (NOWS), which will predict the impact of weather on night vision goggle detection range for AFSOC and ACC; (2) IR Target Scene Software (IRTSS), which is developing software that will determine the impact of weather on air-to-ground target scenes in the infrared, and produce an IR scene visualization for transition to the Air Force Mission Support System (AFMSS); (3) Weather Automated Mission Planning Software (WAMPS) a new start in FY97 to develop software to automatically incorporate weather impacts on airborne EO systems during theater mission planning in Theater Battle Management Core Systems (TBMCS); and (4) Target Acquisition Weather Software (TAWS), a new start in FY97, will provide a major upgrade to the current operational Electro-Optical Tactical Decision Aid (EOTDA) used by Air Force Weather (AFW) support personnel to provide weapon lock-on and acquisition ranges for EO weapon systems used by ACC.

User Impact (U):

(U) None.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Concept/Technology.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U): None.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Optic Surv Eff & Bat/Space OpsOptical Surveillance Effects and Battlespace Operations
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

RDT&E Budget Item Project 1010
Technology Master Process
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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