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Proceedings Paper

PIRATE: the IRST for Eurofighter TYPHOON
Author(s): Boyd Cook
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Paper Abstract

The Passive InfraRed Airborne Tracking Equipment (PIRATE) has been developed for the Eurofighter aircraft. The equipment is mounted in the forward fuselage and fully integrated into the weapon system. PIRATE is fundamentally a Track While Scan infrared search and track (IRST) system which also performs conventional navigation FLIR functions. In the primary air-air role, the equipment passively detects, tracks, classifies and prioritizes multiple airborne targets under all aspects, look-up, look-down and co-altitude conditions. The IRST functions are fully integrated into the aircraft attack and identification sub-system and can be diverted to specific search and track areas as a result of commands on the communication bus. The pilot has several selectable operating modes depending upon the particular combat mission requirement. The priority functions are to search specific scan volumes in conjunction with other aircraft sensors in a Multiple Target Track Mode. Imaging modes are used to visually identify single targets of particular interest or to generate IR images of the scene as a general flying aid or landing aid in bad weather or night time conditions. These images are displayed on the Head Up Display (HUD), Multifunction Head Down Display (MHDD) or the pilots helmet visor. The primary functions, system design overview and the application of current technologies will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 January 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4820, Infrared Technology and Applications XXVIII, (23 January 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.451337
Show Author Affiliations
Boyd Cook, Thales (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4820:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXVIII
Bjorn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Marija Strojnik, Editor(s)

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