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Proceedings Paper

Uncooled infrared development for small unmanned aerial vehicles
Author(s): Timothy S. Pitt; Sam B. Wood; Caleb E. Waddle; William D. Edwards; Ben S. Yeske
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Paper Abstract

The US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) is developing a micro-uncooled infrared (IR) capability for small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS). In 2007, AMRDEC procured several uncooled microbolometers for lab and field test evaluations, and static tower tests involving specific target sets confirmed initial modeling and simulation predictions. With these promising results, AMRDEC procured two captive flight test (CFT) vehicles and, in 2008, completed numerous captive flights to capture imagery with the micro-uncooled infrared sensors. Several test configurations were used to build a comprehensive data set. These configurations included variations in look-down angles, fields of view (FOV), environments, altitudes, and target scenarios. Data collected during these field tests is also being used to develop human tracking algorithms and image stabilization software by other AMRDEC personnel. Details of these ongoing efforts will be presented in this paper and will include: 1) onboard digital data recording capabilities; 2) analog data links for visual verification of imagery; 3) sensor packaging and design; which include both infrared and visible cameras; 4) field test and data collection results; 5) future plans; 6) potential applications. Finally, AMRDEC has recently acquired a 17 μm pitch detector array. The paper will include plans to test both 17 μm and 25 μm microbolometer technologies simultaneously in a side-by-side captive flight comparison.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7660, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVI, 76600I (3 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.855134
Show Author Affiliations
Timothy S. Pitt, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Sam B. Wood, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Caleb E. Waddle, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
William D. Edwards, Dynetics, Inc. (United States)
Ben S. Yeske, Dynetics, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7660:
Infrared Technology and Applications XXXVI
Bjørn F. Andresen; Gabor F. Fulop; Paul R. Norton, Editor(s)

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