Of DAS, EOTS etc..

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2662
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 01:50

ricnunes wrote:
quicksilver wrote:Same day? Same time of day? Same atmospherics/environmentals? Same form/fit/power/cooling? Same OML? Lotsa questions before anyone ‘buys’ the improvement.


Even if the time of day, atmospherics, etc... were different, it's clear that the right image (AEOTS) has a much sharper and higher quality imagery compared to the left (EOTS) which by its turn means better target VID.


Do you understand how thermal imagers work?

Try this on for size —

http://www.deltagearinc.com/library/OpticsFacts/EO.pdf
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8390
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 06:15

Advanced EOTS is Multi-Spectral and due to it's "plug-n-Play design (with current F-35s), any image processing would be done in the unit itself.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has continued development of its Advanced Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), which offers crystal clear resolution, unmatched multi-spectral range and significant cost savings for the F-35 Lightning II.

Advanced EOTS includes a larger aperture and provides pilots with multi-spectral sensing options such as high-resolution Mid-Wave IR, Short-Wave IR and Near IR. Utilizing the same volume and weight, Advanced EOTS is effortless to integrate into the F-35 Lightning II with the "plug and play" feature.

https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2019-09 ... evelopment

Maybe it's a QWIP sensor?
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2165
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 11:41

quicksilver wrote:
ricnunes wrote:
quicksilver wrote:Same day? Same time of day? Same atmospherics/environmentals? Same form/fit/power/cooling? Same OML? Lotsa questions before anyone ‘buys’ the improvement.


Even if the time of day, atmospherics, etc... were different, it's clear that the right image (AEOTS) has a much sharper and higher quality imagery compared to the left (EOTS) which by its turn means better target VID.


Do you understand how thermal imagers work?

Try this on for size —

http://www.deltagearinc.com/library/OpticsFacts/EO.pdf


Yes, I believe that I fairly understand how thermal imagers work.
However I admit that I do NOT understand the purpose of your post/question at all!
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2165
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 11:51

SpudmanWP wrote:Advanced EOTS is Multi-Spectral and due to it's "plug-n-Play design (with current F-35s), any image processing would be done in the unit itself.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has continued development of its Advanced Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), which offers crystal clear resolution, unmatched multi-spectral range and significant cost savings for the F-35 Lightning II.

Advanced EOTS includes a larger aperture and provides pilots with multi-spectral sensing options such as high-resolution Mid-Wave IR, Short-Wave IR and Near IR. Utilizing the same volume and weight, Advanced EOTS is effortless to integrate into the F-35 Lightning II with the "plug and play" feature.

https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2019-09 ... evelopment


Thanks for the info SpudmanWP! It kinda confirms my "previous suspicions" :wink:


SpudmanWP wrote:Maybe it's a QWIP sensor?


Well, I would say that either that or LM somehow managed to miniaturize MWIR, SWIR and NIR so much into a "compact unit" (with the same size of the MWIR in EOTS) and merge the imagery of the 3 sensors into a single imagery.

But I would guess that QWIP is indeed a very, very good possibility.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2662
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 13:43

“Yes, I believe that I fairly understand how thermal imagers work.”

Then you would understand how the differences I allude to make a difference in what kind of image is produced at what slant range — which in operational employment, is a big deal. A comparison of images in two similar scenes — that tell us nothing about the conditions wherein those images were produced — is automatically suspect. Do I believe that a number of contractors can produce better imagery using updated sensor and processing technology? Yes, of course. But there have to be reasons why an EOTS upgrade — described as ‘effortless’ by those who are selling it — hasn’t occurred sooner.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2165
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 14:16

quicksilver wrote:Then you would understand how the differences I allude to make a difference in what kind of image is produced at what slant range — which in operational employment, is a big deal. A comparison of images in two similar scenes — that tell us nothing about the conditions wherein those images were produced — is automatically suspect.


Yes, I understand how and agree that differences in time of day, temperature, other atmospheric factors, etc... can have an impact/diference on the output image (and the "quality" of it).
However we know that currently EOTS only used MWIR sensors and I strongly doubt that a MWIR sensor could produce an image as sharp/"crystal clear" or more precisely so close to what the human eye or a TV camera sees (Light spectrum). Or resuming the image "from the right" is very similar in terms of "sharpness"/quality as you would see on a TV camera, which indicates that if the Advanced EOTS (or AEOTS) doesn't use TV (and everything seems to point out that it doesn't) then it should use IR sensors which are closer to the Light spectrum, which indicates that SWIR or better, NIR (or both) are used together with MWIR.

Or alternatively it could be what SpudmanWP said, the usage of QWIP sensors which would replace existing MWIR.

quicksilver wrote:Do I believe that a number of contractors can produce better imagery using updated sensor and processing technology? Yes, of course. But there have to be reasons why an EOTS upgrade — described as ‘effortless’ by those who are selling it — hasn’t occurred sooner.


The "effortless" description is vague at best and could mean different things. For example it could mean that while the AEOTS is more advanced (and thus could have more sensors and/or more advanced sensors) compared to EOTS, that the proper installation of the AEOTS in the F-35 is "effortless" - for example the installation could be a matter of simply "unscrewing"/un-attaching the "older" EOTS and attaching/"screwing" the new AEOTS.
As an example: while an optical mouse is more advanced than older rolling ball mouses, replacing an older mouse type with a newer type is "effortless", won't you agree?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
Offline

gideonic

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 283
  • Joined: 06 Sep 2015, 13:54

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 14:30

To me, it seems that a large part of the visible quality increase on A-EOTS, other than better resolution, is just that it's using newer de-noising algorithms (see the "film grain" on the left image?) that don't seem to be used at all on the original EOTS.

Considering the original was developed in the early 2000-s it only makes sense. Real-time noise reduction has evolved monumentally during the smartphone camera wars starting from circa 2008 and continuing today. It wasn't really even a thing during the early 2000-s.

Just look at what modern algorithms can do: (the video is about CGI rendering/raytracing, but the principle is the same)
https://youtu.be/YjjTPV2pXY0?t=125

Now obviously there are other things that also work in tandem, like combining multiple IR wavelengths, but the biggest improvement (in motion) seems to be the lack of noise.
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2662
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 15:14

“...I strongly doubt that a MWIR sensor could produce an image as sharp/"crystal clear" or more precisely so close to what the human eye or a TV camera sees (Light spectrum).”

Then you are misinformed or incorrect in that assumption. I speak from first-hand experience. Though the technical specifications of what two sensors can produce may be far different, what is displayed to a ‘user’ (or someone viewing something in the public domain) is often indistinguishable in practical terms. In other cases, what the IR sensor produces is far far better than the human eye or an EO sensor of some type.

Seeing is believing but belief is not necessarily reality. Be careful about what you choose to believe.
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2662
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 15:40

gideonic wrote:To me, it seems that a large part of the visible quality increase on A-EOTS, other than better resolution, is just that it's using newer de-noising algorithms (see the "film grain" on the left image?) that don't seem to be used at all on the original EOTS.

Considering the original was developed in the early 2000-s it only makes sense. Real-time noise reduction has evolved monumentally during the smartphone camera wars starting from circa 2008 and continuing today. It wasn't really even a thing during the early 2000-s.

Just look at what modern algorithms can do: (the video is about CGI rendering/raytracing, but the principle is the same)
https://youtu.be/YjjTPV2pXY0?t=125

Now obviously there are other things that also work in tandem, like combining multiple IR wavelengths, but the biggest improvement (in motion) seems to be the lack of noise.


Absent other info with which to judge (as I suggested above), I agree.
Offline
User avatar

ricnunes

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2165
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2017, 14:29

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 16:03

quicksilver wrote:In other cases, what the IR sensor produces is far far better than the human eye or an EO sensor of some type.

Seeing is believing but belief is not necessarily reality. Be careful about what you choose to believe.


IR produces better images in order to find stuff, that's true (or more precisely "better contrast").
Other details such as coloring, shadows or of course light effects not so much.

What I "chose to believe" is based on clues such as mentioned by hornetfinn and which I'll quote below:
hornetfinn wrote:To me it seems like there are shadows in that image which would mean SWIR (or NIR) as MWIR (or LWIR) images don't have shadows.


The "image from the right" seems indeed to have/cast shadows and since/if MWIR doesn't cast shadows then...
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2662
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 17:00

You're missing the point (which the doc at the link I provided illuminates), which is that the environmental conditions present in the atmosphere at the time an image is ‘made’ has a great deal to do with the apparent resolution of whatever the sensor is looking at. We should not judge (in absolute terms) the differences in performance between two sensors based on images provided without knowing the conditions within which those images were produced.

Ref use of the term ‘effortless,’ I spent a few years of my life listening to contractors tell me how ‘effortless’ it would be to buy and integrate their gizmo on a jet. Clearly, the term was/is not intended to be used literally. However, ime, hyperbole or ‘semantic embellishment’ gained a seller no favor, heightened cynical scrutiny, and often diminished their credibility.
Offline

wrightwing

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3270
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 15:22

Unread post19 Sep 2019, 22:24

I think the term effortless in the context they're using, is akin to plugging in a USB device (i.e. it was designed for plug and play, and the hardware/software development has been going on for years.) So....when it's installed, it should be "effortless."
Offline

hornetfinn

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2814
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2013, 08:31
  • Location: Finland

Unread post20 Sep 2019, 11:42

quicksilver wrote: But there have to be reasons why an EOTS upgrade — described as ‘effortless’ by those who are selling it — hasn’t occurred sooner.


I think it's because technology has not been mature enough until now and because even the current EOTS is very capable system as it is. There needs to be pretty significant improvements in capabilities and maintenance requirements and costs before upgrades like this happen. And it definitely takes quite a lot of time to do such a major upgrade even if it was totally effortless to install it to F-35. Even external podded systems are just getting these capabilities and they are easier to do as there is less restrictions with volume for example.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8390
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post21 Sep 2019, 01:43

quicksilver wrote: But there have to be reasons why an EOTS upgrade — described as ‘effortless’ by those who are selling it — hasn’t occurred sooner.


There was no need until now, on the F-35 at least. The baseline EOTS met the spec laid down 20 years ago and it had to stay as part of the F-35 for Block 3F, at least until Block 4+ came along. The other FLIRs on the market have not stood still in those 20 years and I am sure that they too will introduce similar upgrades soon enough. It all depends if the respective services want to pay for those developments & upgrades.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline
User avatar

doge

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 293
  • Joined: 13 Jul 2015, 16:07

Unread post28 Sep 2019, 22:22

Underline is my favorite part. 8)
https://www.cbronline.com/feature/f-35-factory-tour
The F-35 is More than a Fighter Jet: It’s a “Key Net-Enabling Node” – We Toured the Facility
CONOR REYNOLDS23RD SEPTEMBER 2019
“The F-35 is a key net-enabling node in a system of systems”
The first thing that grabs you when you enter the F-35 factory is its size: wall-to-wall the production line in this Forth Worth, Texas facility is a mile long. A central passage stretches into the near-distance: off it, industrial equipment and supports hold F-35 fighter jets in varying stages of construction.
The second thing that hits you is the quiet. The Lockheed Martin plant in which this $1 trillion-plus, fifth-generation stealth fighter is being built was first constructed during World War 2.
When its first product, the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber, was being built along its production lines, the clamour would have been deafening. Yet a new generation of jets brings a new generation of industrial equipment: walking the factory’s central thoroughfare you are stepping on concrete poured in the forties.
With the advent of automated drilling and riveting machines, the factory floor had to be re-poured with strengthened concrete. This has resulted in an eerily quiet industrial space; the machines are muted: not once did I hear a drill whine sharply, or the abrupt hiss of compressed air, despite the approximately 7,000 people working in it per shift.
Size and general impression of silence aside, it is a factory like any other: workers mill around moving parts; oversee automated tools; laugh as they eat in cafeterias on the factory floor. It’s just a factory: but a vital one for the US, UK and their allies.
The facility is operated by Lockheed Martin, which is tasked with assembling the world’s most high-profile and high-technology fighter jet.The F-35 is a weapon that transcends how we typically think of a fighter jet: Lockheed describes it as “designed to be a key net-enabling node in a system of systems – an information gatherer and transmitter in a vast network.” (At its heart is a core processor that can perform more than 400 billion operations per second).
And my overall impression of it as a “normal” factory may have to do with the fact that a great deal of classified work is happening out of sight.
What I didn’t see on my visit: the teams adding the final layer of paint that contains classified ingredients which make the F-35 practically invisible to radar, as it absorbs and reflects radio waves.
Or the laboratory where a completed F-35 is blasted with radio waves to confirm the jet is invisible to radar. (This test is so accurate that when finished, Lockheed has a radar signature that is so highly unique to each jet, that if you were to place a coin on the wing, the defence contractor could tell you if it was heads or tails.)


Then there’s the eight million lines of software code; the stupendously powerful custom processor to handle all the data flowing in and out of the plane. The helmet that lets you see whales underwater… (Read on).

F-35 and the Next Generation
As Steve Over, Lockheed’s director of business development told us: “We’ve taken network enabled operations to the very next level.”

This is most viscerally obvious to a pilot: in the earlier F-16, a dedicated display illuminates targets on a screen in the cockpit. The pilot uses the interface to manually cycle through radar modes, while controlling a thumb wheel on the throttle controls that affect antenna elevation, and handling controls for the electronic warfare system.

“If you’re a fourth generation pilot, most of your mental capacity is consumed by controlling individual sensors and then interpreting what those individual sensors are telling you,” notes Over. The pilot, in short, is trying to manage all of these inputs and controls simultaneously, while flying a fighter jet in potentially hostile airspace.

This is taxing, prone to error, and where what Lockheed calls ‘sensor fusion’ comes in instead: the F-35’s on-board systems and sensors automatically collate all of the incoming data and provide the pilot with a robust 3D visualisation of the battle space.

“The pilot’s not doing it, the computing engine inside the aircraft is managing all this. It’s not just doing it with the radar. It’s doing that with electronic warfare and other infrared sensors,” Lockheed’s Over notes.

The pilot, in short, is now sitting in a weapons platform that is feeding them battlefield information that they have the last action call on.

The ability of the technology to render this vividly for the pilot can’t be understated: the sensors feed data to the much-talked about F-35 helmet, built by UK-based Gentex Helmet Integrated Systems for approximately £350,000 each, with other key contractors involved in its creation including the US’s Rockwell Collins, which developed the helmet-mounted display system

Using this, if the pilot looks down at their feet they won’t see them: instead they will see right through the plane to the ground or ocean below. Cameras and sensors on the jet feed the pilot a 360- degree real-time video; augmented with a huge array of sensors. (For night flying, the night vision view is projected directly onto the visor, cutting out the need for separate night-vision goggles).

Alan Norman is the director of Lockheed’s F-35 flight test programme and served in the US Air Force for 23 years as a fighter pilot and test pilot.

He told Computer Business Review: “If I’m flying over an environment like desert terrain, I’ll see little trails of animals and all kinds of things that I would never see before. If I’m out over the ocean, I see little boat trails cross the ocean that I didn’t see before.”

He adds: “In fact, the very first test we ever really did with DAS (Distributed Aperture System) involved taking it out over the Pacific Ocean.”

“The first pilot that did it was complaining up a storm saying, ‘I’m not sure the system’s working all that well. I’m getting this really fuzzy image of a boat down below me out in the Pacific’. And he goes: ‘Oh, wait. The boat jumped out of the water. It was a whale!’ He was looking at underneath the water with the system.”

Even the way these jets communicate is disrupting the standard.

Currently NATO uses a military tactical data link network know as Link 16.

Steve Over notes that there are issues with this system as: “If you get into a dense combat environments, you get a network going.”

“It’s common that there are too many users on the net and therefore bandwidth is very limited. And the other thing, its omni-directional. Right. So a transmitter that is on the Link 16 network is beckoning as it’s airborne in the sky and it’s transmitting in all directions, which makes you vulnerable to adversaries that are listening for links, extreme transmitters, but it also makes you vulnerable to adversaries that try to jam your net.”

To get around this issue the F-35 has a Multifunction Advanced Data Link built in as standard. This link establishes narrow directional communication and allows the stealth jets to communicate without giving away their position or vital intel.

The UK’s Involvement in the Project
Walking around the facility and seeing the Star Spangled Banner and bald eagle everywhere you would be forgiven for thinking that the F-35 is solely an American creation.
The UK in particular has been central to the project’s development: BAE Systems holds a 13-15 percent workshare of each aircraft, excluding propulsion, and at peak production, estimates that the programme will be worth some £1 billion to UK industry alone, with an estimated 25,000 UK jobs sustained across more than 500 companies in the supply chain.
HMG is expected to purchase 138 F-35s in the coming years and as of July this year has received its eighteenth jet, which was flown to an RAF base in Marham Norfolk.
British companies are heavily involved in the manufacturing process of the F-35, especially the B variant of the jet. Rolls-Royce is responsible for the jet propulsion system and the B’s one-of-a-kind vertical lift system: the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) engine lets the jet essentially float stationary in the air at the flick of a switch.
BAE Systems has provided the Aft Fuselage and structural components. Honeywell Aerospace has developed the life support system, while GE Aviation’s UK operated factories have done work on the electrical power management system and the fuselage remote interface units.
As with any hugely high capex military project like this, issues remain: while cost-per-plane is falling to close to $80 million, reports suggest providers along the supply chain are still struggling to get parts to the Lockheed production line on time.
The US’s Vice Admiral Mat Winter, the F-35 programme executive told lawmakers in May: “I’m hitting a stagnant plateau with Lockheed Martin because they are 600 parts behind on average: 600 parts not on the production line when I need them,” he said.
The company says it is making progress however, and has flagged its integration of an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) into the planes seven years earlier than previously planned.
“The F-35 is the most survivable fighter jet in the world today – and the addition of Auto-GCAS will further enhance safety and save lives,” says Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program.
And as a commercial project it looks set to not just survive, but thrive for some time yet: sixth generation fighter jets are not expected until the 2030s and 2040s, and for the UK, it will be operating alongside the Typhoon to carry out air-to-surface, electronic warfare, intelligence gathering and air-to-air simultaneously; quite a mix of capabilities.
PreviousNext

Return to F-35 Avionics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest