Visual detection of vehicular targets from attack aircraft.
Brown, Charles H.
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Attack aircraft on interdiction or deep support missions are faced with the problem of detecting their targets by visual means. Much has been written about the general theory of computing detection probabilities associated with visual detection and some experiments have been performed to get estimates of the detection probabilities for small tactical targets observed from the air„ Applying the theory to a special case involving the detection of a stationary tank by a relatively high speed aircraft, a lateral range curve of detection probabilities is computed in this paper. This is compared with (I) lateral range curves from an experiment conducted by the University of Michigan in the field and over a terrain simulator and (2) lateral range curves constructed from data taken in an operational experiment conducted with USNPGS personnel in conjunction with a CDEC tactical exercise. The detection probabilities and maximum sighting ranges observed in the operational experiment are significantly below those predicted by the theory and the Michigan experiment described in this paper. It is recommended that further operational type experiments be conducted to provide accurate data for obtaining detection probabilities and maximum sighting ranges which can be used for operational planning purposes.
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