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Proceedings Paper

Evolution Of An Automatic Target Cueing System
Author(s): Glenn E. Tisdale
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Paper Abstract

Automatic target cueing systems are reaching advanced stages of development. As now envisioned, they could provide the operator of a FLIR or TV system aboard an aircraft with an audible warning of targets in his field of view, show their class and location on his display, and add a priority assignment to aid in his response. The result of this machine assistance is expected to improve his target acquisition rate and to decrease his reaction time, thereby improving his chances for survival. Acceptance of cueing systems for aircraft use will require demonstration of adequate performance, physical characteristics, and cost. As demonstrated in the laboratory, performance has achieved levels of interest to potential users. Testing aboard an aircraft, with man in the loop, is the next crucial step in the acceptance process. It is anticipated that several such tests will begin within 2 years. For the aircraft or combat vehicle application, the constraints of size, weight, power consumption, and cost are vital considerations. Westinghouse is currently involved with three distinct generations of hardware development for cueing systems. These include a real-time breadboard system, assembled in 1974 for the Army's ARRADCOM; an engineering model cuer, which will provide improvements in both performance and physical characteristics, and the beginnings of the large-scale integration of cueing circuits using charge-coupled devices. The breadboard system is being used to measure and improve performance statistics, and as a means for determining appropriate system parameter values. The system consists of an equipment rack containing an analog scan converter for selecting video frames, a digitizer, a hardwired digital image preprocessor for extraction of key image features, and a minicomputer to collect the data associated with individual targets (segmentation) and perform classification. Targets are indicated by characters grouped on the edge of the video display. The speed of the minicomputer limits the breadboard field of view to an area of 100 by 100 image elements, which is processed approximately twice per second. The engineering model will include a digital input buffer for full frame operation at rates up to 10 frames per second. It will also include a fully redesigned preprocessor, special-purpose segmentation hardware, and a militarized general-purpose computer. Audible warnings will be provided to the operator intercom system, and visible cues will be added to his sensor display. Redesign of the preprocessor has resulted in size reductions relative to the breadboard unit by six times, and power reductions by ten times. Various operations and thresholds can be adjusted under software control on a frame-by-frame basis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 August 1978
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 0137, Airborne Reconnaissance III, (31 August 1978); doi: 10.1117/12.956201
Show Author Affiliations
Glenn E. Tisdale, Westinghouse Defense and Electronic Systems Center (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0137:
Airborne Reconnaissance III
John H. Smith; Theodore C. Freitag, Editor(s)

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