Infrared detection of surface vehicle, calculation using atmospheric model LOWTRAN 6.
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The thermal signature of a surface vehicle, "SPRUANCE" type destroyer, quantified by the signal to noise ratio of a thermal seeking missile head is parametrically investigated. The effects of the ship internal temperature, ship body paint emissivity, sky condition, sun elevation angle above the horizon, atmospheric profile, missile optics and flight altitude are examined in detail. Results show that both the ship body temperature and signal to noise ratio increase as the incident solar energy and the ship body paint emissivity increase and that the signal to noise ratio appears a peak for sun elevation angle in the range of 40° to 60°. Moreover the signal to noise ratio increases as the missile flight altitude decreases and keeping the other parameters constant higher values are found for the Midlatitude Summer atmospheric profile than for the Tropical atmosphere.
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