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Proceedings Paper

Target lifetimes in natural resource management
Author(s): Jerry D. Greer
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Paper Abstract

The relative degree of success of any intelligence gathering mission is a function of a number of limiting factors. Sensor design (resolution and sensitivity), platform stability, image interpreter skills, and the certainty about where to look both in the target area and in the resultant data are critical. These factors are either under the control of or are a part of the observer. Equally critical is the absolute time available to gain a position of vantage and to collect the emitted or reflected electromagnetic radiation associated with the target of interest. This is in part a function of how long the target is in a position to be observed. Target lifetime is that period of time during which data about a target may be collected. It is the time during which a target may be observed without statistically significant changes occurring in its character or location. In military intelligence, priority targets include such categories as weapon systems, troop numbers and strengths, staging areas, transportation systems, and obstacles to movement. In collecting data about natural resources, some interest in similar subjects is shared but others are added because the interest is in very complex ecosystems composed of a large number of targets. Some natural resource target lifetimes are identical to targets of military interest. Others are significantly different and range from those extremely brief, such as the few seconds required for a fire to ignite, up to 6000 years for the position of a Bristlecone pine tree. A critical evaluation of natural resource target attributes reveals both strong similarities and great differences between military targets of interest and those important in resource management. It appears that intelligence gathering efforts in natural resource management can build upon knowledge and principles about target lifetimes from military sources. However, mission planners must determine and consider the various lifetimes of targets unique in the area of natural resource management when planning airborne reconnaissance operations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1991
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1538, Airborne Reconnaissance XV, (1 December 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.48693
Show Author Affiliations
Jerry D. Greer, USDA Forest Service (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1538:
Airborne Reconnaissance XV
Thomas W. Augustyn; Paul A. Henkel, Editor(s)

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