Of DAS, EOTS etc..

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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count_to_10

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Unread post19 Oct 2014, 02:01

The IR cameras are (relatively) easy to place -- it's the software to integrate it all usefully that takes serious investment.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post19 Oct 2014, 02:22

count_to_10 wrote:The IR cameras are (relatively) easy to place -- it's the software to integrate it all usefully that takes serious investment.


Software is really where the big bucks of the F-35 program are, and why it will likely have an advantage over any contemporaries. When it comes to software development, time and money matters. I think this is why the F-35's software keeps on being late, because as a CS professor once said, most large software projects, commercial or military, are late.

That said though, it seems like a very large percentage of computer science majors, especially the good ones, at my university is Chinese. Though that doesn't necessarily mean the Chinese will catch up on the DAS.
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Unread post20 Oct 2014, 04:41

disconnectedradical wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:The IR cameras are (relatively) easy to place -- it's the software to integrate it all usefully that takes serious investment.


Software is really where the big bucks of the F-35 program are, and why it will likely have an advantage over any contemporaries. When it comes to software development, time and money matters. I think this is why the F-35's software keeps on being late, because as a CS professor once said, most large software projects, commercial or military, are late.

That said though, it seems like a very large percentage of computer science majors, especially the good ones, at my university is Chinese. Though that doesn't necessarily mean the Chinese will catch up on the DAS.


However... various other competing developments per association with other alternative sensor hardware, should be 'good enough'. One doesn't need the highest number lines of code to be 'good enough'. Just produce an affordable, quality next-gen piece of hardware, coupled with sufficient software to operate it and upgrade it. Then, sell it/acquire it in sufficient numbers. Viola.

Regardless, by early 2020s, if not sooner, it's very likely that particular equipment hardware might even be superior in performance to EOTS and even DAS. E.g.. the next-gen SE pod w/ 1k FLIR is expected for delivery within a few years. Various dedicated (COTS) IRST systems are and will likely be on the market, too.

The issue is therefor more about availability, delivery, reliability (providing relevant capability), affordability. Not about... which 3rd gen product will finally deploy with the greatest complexity of software by 2020, etc.
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Unread post20 Oct 2014, 09:17

quicksilver wrote:"I think both IR and passive RF SA systems will be used in the future as they offer quite different and complementing capabilities."

The future you suggest is now.


That is very true. If we think about history, it seems like first fighters got forward looking active RF system, radar. Then fighters got passive RF systems, RWR. First these had limited coverage, but later systems are fully spherical and with far more features than basic RWR. Then they got forward looking IR systems, FLIR/IRST. Now there is a fighter with full spherical IR coverage. I think it's clear that fighter sensors have been and are still getting better coverage in both the electromagnetic spectrum and coverage around the aircraft. I see someday fighters having full 360 degree passive and active RF sensors as well as UV, visible light, near IR, mid IR and long wave IR wavelengths. All of this fully digitized and automated with full data (not just sensor) fusion. I see F-35 systems improving a lot as it matures and it likely will get some additional capabilities along with all those it has now. A lot of those additional capabilities are likely coming from software upgrades and additions, but some will be hardware upgrades as well.
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Unread post20 Oct 2014, 09:58

hornetfinn wrote:
That is very true. If we think about history, it seems like first fighters got forward looking active RF system, radar. Then fighters got passive RF systems, RWR. First these had limited coverage, but later systems are fully spherical and with far more features than basic RWR. Then they got forward looking IR systems, FLIR/IRST. Now there is a fighter with full spherical IR coverage. I think it's clear that fighter sensors have been and are still getting better coverage in both the electromagnetic spectrum and coverage around the aircraft. I see someday fighters having full 360 degree passive and active RF sensors as well as UV, visible light, near IR, mid IR and long wave IR wavelengths. All of this fully digitized and automated with full data (not just sensor) fusion. I see F-35 systems improving a lot as it matures and it likely will get some additional capabilities along with all those it has now. A lot of those additional capabilities are likely coming from software upgrades and additions, but some will be hardware upgrades as well.

Advantage to those who can best exploit Moore's Law to drive ever more sophisticated software to crunch all that data into something meaningful.
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Unread post20 Oct 2014, 10:45

geogen wrote:However... various other competing developments per association with other alternative sensor hardware, should be 'good enough'. One doesn't need the highest number lines of code to be 'good enough'. Just produce an affordable, quality next-gen piece of hardware, coupled with sufficient software to operate it and upgrade it. Then, sell it/acquire it in sufficient numbers. Viola.

Regardless, by early 2020s, if not sooner, it's very likely that particular equipment hardware might even be superior in performance to EOTS and even DAS. E.g.. the next-gen SE pod w/ 1k FLIR is expected for delivery within a few years. Various dedicated (COTS) IRST systems are and will likely be on the market, too.

The issue is therefor more about availability, delivery, reliability (providing relevant capability), affordability. Not about... which 3rd gen product will finally deploy with the greatest complexity of software by 2020, etc.


I doubt it will be quite a while before anybody makes systems significantly superior even in hardware to EOTS or DAS as both seem to be very state-of-the-art currently. Of course the sensor hardware is only small part of capabilities of such systems. They need a lot of software to make the sensor work right. Of course they also need a lot of software to integrate the sensors to the fighter combat systems. There also needs to be good enough networks inside the aircraft to transfer all that data around. Having simply the sensors does not much good if it's not integrated to the aircraft. F-35 has the advantage that it has been designed with EOTS and DAS in mind from the beginning and those are fully integrated to the aircraft hardware and software. Add-on pods and systems are very unlikely to offer nearly the capabilities a fully integrated systems can.

Of course there is nothing stopping upgrading DAS and EOTS hardware. F-35 has good enough networks and computing systems to handle even upgraded sensor systems. I don't see that happening very soon as there is most likely a lot of capabilities that can be added and improved through software.
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Unread post21 Oct 2014, 02:49

geogen wrote:
Regardless, by early 2020s, if not sooner, it's very likely that particular equipment hardware might even be superior in performance to EOTS and even DAS. E.g.. the next-gen SE pod w/ 1k FLIR is expected for delivery within a few years. Various dedicated (COTS) IRST systems are and will likely be on the market, too.

The issue is therefor more about availability, delivery, reliability (providing relevant capability), affordability. Not about... which 3rd gen product will finally deploy with the greatest complexity of software by 2020, etc.


You are assuming that EOTS and DAS will exist in a vacuum during that period. Upgrades can and do happen, so the status quo isn't nearly as simple as your post claims.

Complex technologies tend to require complex software. The tendency of software, across any platform, is to increase in size and complexity as generational growth takes place. This is just as true for your smartphone as it is defense systems.
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Unread post21 Oct 2014, 05:23

Yup, just stick that magical new sensor in a pod and slap it on along with all the other baggage...nothing but the best for that super-duper updated legacy jet. :roll:
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Unread post20 May 2015, 10:40

How many pixels are there in each EODAS array?
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Unread post20 May 2015, 11:42

The thing about software is that it is a never ending process of refinement, fixes, testing and new releases.

The irony is that once you feel the software is working as perfectly as you want it to be, it is time to look for the next generation upgrade and the software would need to be updated as well. :( Sigh....

In any case, I hope people understand that software is a process and not a product. There will always be some need for incremental improvement and updates. You just have to decide to freeze with what you have now, and work with what is best at that time. Then you continue the process of improvement and decide to freeze at a later date on the improved version.
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Unread post20 May 2015, 13:11

uclass wrote:How many pixels are there in each EODAS array?


I don't believe that's public knowledge, but I would guess they're something like 1MP to 4MP based on videos like this.

To back this up, we can compare it to the HMDS-mounted NVG IR camera.

The Gen 3 uses the ISIE-11 sensor which has a 1600x1200 (2MP) sensor. However, the original sensor, as used in the Gen 2, uses the ISIE-10, which has a resolution of 1280x1024 (1.3MP).

Now, the HMDS received an NVG camera specifically because it was believed that the EODAS alone might not provide sufficient clarity for all aspects of night flying; plus, obviously in-cockpit night vision was important.

Now, as far as I'm aware, the helmet cam is specifically designed to fit the visor's 40x30 degree display, while each EODAS sensor has a field of view of 120 degrees. What that means, is that if the (angular) pixel density is (roughly) 30% of the helmet cam's, the sensor is the same resolution (1.3MP).

At 50% the pixel density, the EODAS sensor has a resolution of about 4MP. While it's possible to go higher than that, I'm not entirely sure it's a realistic assumption to make, as without the F-35 having it's EODAS upgraded in the past 5 years, I'm not sure Northrop Grumman would have had the tech or means to produce >4MP MWIR sensors for this kind of application.
Last edited by Dragon029 on 20 May 2015, 13:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post20 May 2015, 13:17

uclass wrote:How many pixels are there in each EODAS array?


Well, the sensors are made by L-3 Cincinnati Electronics in the factory that makes 1M (1280x1024), 4M (2048x2048) and 16M (4096x4096) arrays.

http://www.cinele.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=873:russwalkerappointedpresident&catid=67:eits-news-cat&Itemid=148

. The expanded Mason, Ohio facility houses a new state-of-the-art semiconductor processing facility designed to meet the demand for the next generation of infrared imaging arrays used on platforms such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Wide Area Persistent Surveillance (WAPS) programs.


http://www.cinele.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1014:wide-area-persistent-surveillance&catid=174:infrared-products-a-systems&Itemid=234

L-3 Cincinnati Electronics is the industry leader in large format MWIR with a decade of experience in providing IR technology for major programs such as the F/A-18 and F-35. In addition to our compact 1280 x 1024 and 2048 x 2048 pixel MWIR HD cameras, we are the only manufacturer with IR sensors of 16Mp (4096 x 4096 pixels) currently in use by U.S. assets in overseas combat zones.


So, I'd say that at least 1280x1024 arrays are used.
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Unread post20 May 2015, 13:37

Northrop in its introductory paper on the DAIRS (DAS) describes each individual sensor as about the same resolution as a human eye. Go figure how much that is in pixels ;)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/260144206/Di ... m7FxfSiC1B
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Unread post20 May 2015, 14:18

bring_it_on wrote:Northrop in its introductory paper on the DAIRS (DAS) describes each individual sensor as about the same resolution as a human eye. Go figure how much that is in pixels ;)

https://www.scribd.com/doc/260144206/Di ... m7FxfSiC1B


http://gizmodo.com/what-is-the-resoluti ... 1541242269
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Unread post20 May 2015, 14:36

This article and this data sheet confirm it; the EODAS system uses L3's 4MP sensor.

Specifically; you can see the edges of the FPAs on the new 4" diameter wafer; if you use an image editing or CAD program you can then see for yourself that a 1.2" (30.7mm) sided FPA (as per the datasheet) creates the exact same pattern scale as in the AFRL image.

It's possible that it's just a 1MP sensor; L3 doesn't have a datasheet for their 1MP sensor, and it's not uncommon to use (eg) 4MP arrays downsampled to achieve a more reliable or better quality 1MP image. However, the fact that they don't provide a datasheet for the 1MP sensor, plus the fact that the EODAS sensor is physically larger than the 2MP sensor in the HMDS, and needs to achieve a decent level of resolution over it's ~120 degree FOV means that it's almost certain that it has a resolution of 4MP.

The 16MP sensor is twice the width / height of the 4MP and wafer size is measured in diameter by convention, so it's (unfortunately, and only just for now) not the 16MP sensor.
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