Generation of mid-wave infrared signature using microradiating devices for vehicle mounted identification friend or foe applications
Rose, Eric Q.
Harkins, Richard M.
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Friendly fire continues to be a major source of casualties on the modern battlefield. The Vehicle Mounted Identification Friend or Foe (VMIFF) is a device designed to provide instantaneous feedback to the shooter identifying itself as friendly when interrogated by a friendly target laser designator or laser range finder. Current prototypes provide an omni-directional near infrared signature visible through night vision devices but not thermal imagers, and therefore are only effective during night operations. Thermal imagers require a 3-5 um mid-wave infrared (MWIR) signature. The integration of a MWIR signature into VMIFF will add a daytime capability. A new generation of compact MWIR sources is emerging to meet demands from a range of spectroscopy and communications applications. An evaluation was conducted on three commercially available thermal microradiators to determine suitability as MWIR signature generators for VMIFF applications. Frequency response and angular irradiance measurements were made in both the 3-5 um and 8-12 um regions using single-pixel thermal detectors and thermal imaging cameras. Based on data collected, a next-generation VMIFF design incorporating a thermal signature is proposed.
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