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Proceedings Paper

Modeling Approaches To Thermal Imaging Systems
Author(s): Eric J. Borg; Joel S. Davis; Bryan D. Thompson
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Paper Abstract

When modeling thermal imaging systems to predict their performance, there are three functional areas that must be specifically characterized: the object being imaged; the intervening atmosphere; and the sensor itself. This paper will discuss two computer simulations presently being used by the U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM) which integrate models of these three functional areas to calculate the performance of a variety of thermal imaging systems for a range of atmospheres, scenarios, targets, and sensors. Common to both approaches is: use of the Johnson bar criteria for detection, recognition and identification; the use (direct or indirect) of the AFGL LOWTRAN code to model the atmosphere; and, finally, some methodologies for modeling staring focal plane arrays (FPAs) as the sensor detection element. The three functional areas will be discussed first, followed by discussions of the two approaches; the Fire Control Sensor Simulator (FCSS), an engagement model; and, the MICOM Infrared Imaging System Performance Model (MIISPM), a more detailed model emphasizing the sensor itself. The MIISPM is based upon the Night Vision Laboratory Static Performance Model (NVLSPM), but has been enhanced in several important ways, discussed in the paper. While both approaches provide as output the same performance criteria (probability of detection, recognition and identification, as a function of range), each model has its own strengths for different aspects of the sensor performance problem: for the FCSS, targets and scenarios; for the MIISPM, details of the sensor. Both approaches will be presented and compared in terms of the results, run time efficiency, and required hardware. Both models presently run on IBM or IBM compatible personal computers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 1986
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 0636, Thermal Imaging, (5 August 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.964191
Show Author Affiliations
Eric J. Borg, Verac, Inc. (United States)
Joel S. Davis, Verac, Inc. (United States)
Bryan D. Thompson, Verac, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0636:
Thermal Imaging
Irving R. Abel, Editor(s)

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