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Proceedings Paper

Design of an optical system for a 5th generation multi-spectral air-to-air missile considering the imaging performance degradation due to the aerodynamic heating
Author(s): Paulo R. Leite; Maurício da Silva; Eduardo T. Paoli
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Paper Abstract

An air-to-air missile is always submitted to extremes conditions of temperature, such as a hot runway in the desert dropping down to very cold conditions at high altitudes. It is evident that the optical system must be able to provide satisfactory image quality under any circumstances without causing any major degradation to the image. Under this perspective, two different designs of optical systems will be considered for this missile: one catadioptric, using a modified Cassegrain telescope and another one purely dioptric. Both optical systems must be able to focus energy in two different arrays of detectors, one for the near infrared radiation and the other one for the medium infrared. Due to the special missile flight profile, the temperature operational range will be determined and considered in order to design and athermalize the optical systems. Due to the large temperatures range, the missile optical system will experience deformation effects that will cause defocus and image degradation. A correct choice of materials, including the telescope body and dome shroud must be determined to minimize the defocus effect. Also a thermal compensator ought to be strategically placed on both designs to provide focus correction for all the temperatures range. Following that, the optical designs will be analyzed for effects of stray light and ghost image to find out what are the most suitable absorbing paint and anti-reflective coatings to be used. In the last step, both systems will be classified accordingly to their characteristics of performance, weight, size, viability and price and the best will integrate the missile optical system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7338, Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIII, 73380I (4 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.818527
Show Author Affiliations
Paulo R. Leite, The Brazilian Air Force (South Africa)
Maurício da Silva, The Brazilian Air Force (South Africa)
Eduardo T. Paoli, Mectron S.A. (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7338:
Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing, and Laser Systems Technologies XXIII
Steven L. Chodos; William E. Thompson, Editor(s)

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