FLIR , IRST in air to air mission

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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falconedge

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Unread post28 Oct 2012, 20:22

can system like EOTS , DAS do the job of radar in air to air mission ?:roll: i can think of some of their advantages :
+passive
+can detected stealth targets
+ with laser finder range they can give info about the angle , altitude , range to target (not sure if that enough for a target lock :?:)
but they also have some disadvantages
+unable to measure the velocity of targets
+affected by weather
and what different between IRST and FLIR or they are the same ? :?:
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post28 Oct 2012, 21:13

IRSTs have been doing it for years. A good IRST can be the only sensor used in an A2A engagement. With a laser an IRST can measure velocity.

ISRTs tend to scan quicker.
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count_to_10

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Unread post28 Oct 2012, 22:02

They also have a relatively limited range.
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Gums

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Unread post28 Oct 2012, 22:38

Salute!

Flew Deuces and VooDoos with IRST systems back in the 60's.

- range was not a biggie for multi-engine buff-type targets, even head on. Fighters were harder to acquire/track unless you had a beam or stern aspect, or they were in burner. OTOH, our systems could still find them at ranges allowing a good missile shot.

Best mode we had was IR track and radar still in search mode. The buff EWO didn't see us lock up, didn't know our range, but we had his range and could launch the IR missile when at the best range.

- After 40 years, we have incredibly better IR sensors. Hell, by late 70's we had the AIM-9L with a head on capability against non A/B fighters. Stuff today prolly ten times better. We can also scan quicker than our old mechanical sensor positioning systems. Then there's a "stare" mode if you have a clue where the threat is. The photon impacts add up and voila!

- The airborne IRST systems used to be different than the FLIR, but maybe not anymore. In Desert Storm, the Warthogs used their Mavericks to find and kill tanks at night. Pilots told me that the barrels looked like toothpicks against the cooler sand late at night when things cooled down.

- I ain't gonna get into current range and geolocation stuff. But " there must be fifty ways to...."

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firstimpulse

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Unread post28 Oct 2012, 23:04

Great points as always, Gums. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPKw3RksCcI
Skip to 3:30. The F-35's IR systems are marketed to be of extreme use both in BVR and WVR engagements, and I believe alot of the hype. It pretty much makes the dogfight into a video game, since everything is visible (the HMD system even lets you look through the floor to see a target). This could be countered by the new IR-stealth systems on craft like the Raptor, but regardless it remains a potentially incredible tool.
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Unread post29 Oct 2012, 01:09

While the F119's IR optimised nature will help in the tail-chase, it will not make much of a difference from the front or sides.
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post29 Oct 2012, 02:41


:lol: Love the over-the-shoulder missile shots at 3:38.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post29 Oct 2012, 04:45

They SHOULD be able to get weapons grade solution via coordinationg the respective azimuth and elevation pictures of the tracks between wing pairs. One of the reasons why its good the these guys to fly several miles apart, better angular resolution.
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falconedge

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Unread post29 Oct 2012, 11:27

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:They SHOULD be able to get weapons grade solution via coordinationg the respective azimuth and elevation pictures of the tracks between wing pairs. One of the reasons why its good the these guys to fly several miles apart, better angular resolution.

Well i think they could do the job much easier by using laser finder range , laser are quite powerful now a day , if iam not wrong they can reach 70-80 km :)
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Unread post29 Oct 2012, 19:50

IRST systems can gather a similar range of data as radars, but they do so with less accuracy and are adversely affected by background and atmospheric conditions. A laser is accurate but is effective against a single target only as of now. Lasers are active as well and their range performance is equally affected by atmospheric conditions like IRSTs. Laser is essentially also just an EM wave like visible light or IR. It's just a different wavelength.
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beepa

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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 06:13

Check out the SU-35 in FLIR. Looks like she runs pretty hot, might make a good target someday.

http://youtu.be/x3zX4QI-BT4
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neurotech

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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 19:58

Scorpion82 wrote:IRST systems can gather a similar range of data as radars, but they do so with less accuracy and are adversely affected by background and atmospheric conditions. A laser is accurate but is effective against a single target only as of now. Lasers are active as well and their range performance is equally affected by atmospheric conditions like IRSTs. Laser is essentially also just an EM wave like visible light or IR. It's just a different wavelength.

Modern AESA radar has a longer effective range than a IRST system against a fighter target. I agree that atmospheric conditions do adversely effect IRST range considerably.

F-15C AESA radar 100NM+ on good day with a 1m2 target. The Russians claim even longer ranges with their Su-35 Irbis-E radar. F-35 EOTS is good to about 50-80NM with a fighter sized target. I'm not sure the range of the EOTS rangefinder laser, but I'd be surprised if its more than 20NM effective range.
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FlightDreamz

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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 21:33

can system like EOTS , DAS do the job of radar in air to air mission ?

One mans opinion (and I have never worked on, flown or been in near around a military aircraft aside from airshows and museums) in a word - <b>YES!</b>
Just look at the conniption fits and flaming hoop's the Navy (and Boeing) are jumping through trying to "cludge" an Infrared Search and Track system onto the F/A-18 Hornet ("super" or otherwise). :doh:
See <a href="http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-8585.html"> this thread</a>.
See also <a href="http://40yrs.blogspot.com/2009/03/worldwide-war-pigs-drop-tank-irst-tests.html">this blog</a> and http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ef-361304/

Image
Mounting an I.R.S.T. in the front end of an F/A-18's centerline fuel tank. REALLY!

Not to mention, the idea of mounting an I.R.S.T. on the U.S.A.F. F-15C has come (and gone, thanks to budget trouble and this was <i>before</i> sequestration!) at least twice by my count.
The U.S. wouldn't pursue this if it didn't have value (not to mention the SU-27 Flanker, MiG-29 Fulcrum, Eurofighter Typhoon, France's Rafale, etc. etc.)!
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
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uclass

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Unread post07 Jul 2013, 12:38

IRST is an invaluable asset at close-medium range against low RCS aircraft. A radar scan is too narrow below 40km and a wider angle system is required for initial detection.
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hornetfinn

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Unread post29 Jul 2015, 13:27

It seems there is some discussion regarding IRST systems here and there and found this old topic which seems to best fit the discussion.

First, I’d like to go through some basic information regarding IRST systems and how they work.

First, there are several different types of IRST sensors in use in different fighters. The technology is similar also in different missiles and also FLIR systems (imaging sensors only).

1. Non-imaging uncooled IRST systems. These types of sensors were used in Western fighter IRSTs from 1950s onwards and are still used in MiG-29 OLS-29 systems. These systems have very poor range due to low sensitivity (by modern standards) and can only give indication about direction to some heat source. They are unable to tell the range (without laser) and cannot identify targets as they cannot create images but just detect increase in IR radiation in some direction. These systems also cannot effectively detect and track multiple targets. Similar sensor was used in many older IR seeking missiles.
2. Non-imaging cooled IRST systems. These types are used in for example Su-27 variants (OLS-27 to OLS-35). Some old Western IRST systems might have been this type also. These have much better sensitivity and thus longer range. Otherwise they share similar limitations as the older systems. Many IR seeking missiles have used this type of seeker like AIM-9L/M, R-73, Igla and Stinger. However there is difference in cooling and seeker systems and older missiles using this type had much inferior performance to later missiles.
3. Imaging, uncooled IRST systems. These types have not been used in fighter IRST systems as the cost of using cooling is fairly low compared to other costs involved (for fighter use) and because cooling improves performance a lot. In the future these types might be used in some applications as their performance has improved significantly recently, although will never reach the performance of cooled imaging systems. They easily beat both uncooled and cooled non-imaging systems though in almost every respect. They have decent range and as they are imaging, can also recognize and identify targets close enough to have enough pixels from them. They can also do passive ranging and can detect/track large number of targets simultaneously. These are used in some missiles though, as they are much cheaper and smaller than cooled systems and have performance good enough for many missile applications.
4. Imaging, cooled IRST systems. These types are used in modern Western IRSTs like Pirate, FSO and EOTS. These outperform all other types handily and have all the capabilities of imaging uncooled systems but offer much better sensitivity and thus better range and target discrimination abilities.

Imaging sensors can be further divided to scanning and staring arrays. Scanning arrays have been used in earlier FLIR/IRST systems (Pirate, AN/AAAS-42, many FLIR systems) but staring arrays have really taken over during the last decade. EOTS and DAS use staring arrays as do many later targeting pods and for example DDM-NG in Rafale. Compared to scanning arrays, modern staring arrays have higher sensitivity, longer range and better reliability (no mechanical components) and higher frame rate with better image quality. They are also gotten cheaper as manufacturing techniques has improved. Scanning arrays are no longer really used in new products any more as staring arrays can do everything they can but better.

I think Western countries abandoned IRST because non-imaging systems weren’t really that good and radar systems were very effective. As new imaging IRST technology has emerged small and cheap enough to be installed on fighter aircraft, IRST systems have suddenly become widespread. I think new systems will be found to be very effective even in air-to-air combat, although they do have their limitations. Especially the F-35 combination of DAS and EOTS, combining short-range wide field of view and long-range narrow field of view systems and having sensor fusion between all of the sensors to automate functionality, will likely be very effective.
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