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Proceedings Paper

Optical Processing Technology For Infrared Sensors
Author(s): Jeffrey L. Nelson
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Paper Abstract

As modern infrared sensing systems become smarter and able to collect more data at faster rates, the complexity of on-board data processing systems becomes greater. While V HSIC and VLSI digital systems offer a great amount of support for the on-board processing, there is a place for optical data processing. This paper discusses one processor architecture which performs several on-board analysis functions optically as well as reduces the data processing load which the electronic digital processing portion must address. The application exemplified is an infrared search and track system with optical processing to support background rejection and moving target indication. Backgrounds to be rejected in this application do not generally exceed the target intensity; that is, the targets are typically as bright as or brighter than the background. Background rejection consists of a spatial filter to eliminate large distributed sources on which a small target is superimposed, and optical image subtraction to remove small stationary targets. Moving target indication is performed with a spatial filter and a wedge detector array. Techniques for target characterization and identification have been developed but will not be discussed in this paper; nor will techniques for ballistic target impact point prediction be presented. One of the more difficult aspects of optical processing is the interconnect between the infrared detector array and the optical processor; candidate technologies for this optical interconnect will be reviewed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 January 1984
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0430, Infrared Technology IX, (19 January 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.936383
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey L. Nelson, TRW Space and Technology Group (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0430:
Infrared Technology IX
Richard A. Mollicone; Irving J. Spiro, Editor(s)

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