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Proceedings Paper

Recce and UAV: mass memory an enabling technology for merger
Author(s): Walter J. Hall Jr.
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Paper Abstract

In the era of Declining Defense Dollars, the cost of sophisticated aircraft and highly trained personnel has heightened interest in Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). The obvious lure is the lower vehicle cost (no crew station and crew support systems) and reduced needs for highly skilled air crews. Reconnaissance (commonly called recce) aircraft and their missions are among the commonly sighted applications for UAVs. Today's UAV recce aircraft (such as the Predator) are the genesis of much more sophisticated UAVs of the future. The evolution of the UAV will not be constrained to recce aircraft, but the recce mission will be significant for UAVs. The recce hole has historically been that of a battlefield data collector for post mission review and planning. In the electronic battlefield of the future, that role will be expanded. Envisioned mission for future recce aircraft include real-time scout, target location and fire coordination, battle damage assessment, and large area surveillance. Associated with many of these new roles is the need to store or assess much higher volumes of data. The higher volume data requirements are the result of higher resolution sensors (the Advanced Helicopter Pilotage infrared sensor has a data rate of near 1.2 Gigabits per second) and multi-sensor applications (the Multi-Sensor Aided Targeting program considered infrared, TV, and radar). The evolution of the UAV recce role, and associated increased data storage needs (from higher data rates and increased coverage requirements), requires the development of new data storage equipment. One solution to the increased storage needs is solid-state memory. As solid-state memories become faster, smaller, and cheaper they will enable the UAV recce mission capability to expand. Because of the speed of the memory, it will be possible to buffer and assess (identify the existence of targets or other points of interest) data before committing to consumption of limited storage assets. Faster memory search times and random memory access will permit comparisons of iterative imagery to identify changes (moving-target-indicator or new/missing objects) in real-time. This has three positive effects: (1) Real-time assessment of enemy troops and weapon strengths (coupled with directional data) for planning or fire coordination. (2) Real-time battle damage assessment to accelerate determination of the allocation of friendly assets. (3) Selective storage of imagery (only that which contains points-of-interest) reduces the amount of data storage leading to increased area coverage and mission times. Orbital Sciences Corporation/Fairchild Defense is completing the development of a High-Speed Solid State Recorder which is a critical element of the Enhanced Recce Management System we are developing. The High-Speed Solid State Recorder will be a major part of defining the mission for future UAV recce aircraft.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 1996
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2829, Airborne Reconnaissance XX, (21 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.259748
Show Author Affiliations
Walter J. Hall Jr., Orbital Sciences Corp./Fairchild Defense (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2829:
Airborne Reconnaissance XX
Richard J. Wollensak; Wallace G. Fishell; William H. Barnes; Arthur A. Andraitis; Alfred C. Crane Jr.; Michael S. Fagan, Editor(s)

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