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Proceedings Paper

Simulating the DIRCM engagement: component and system level performance
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Paper Abstract

The proliferation of a diversity of capable ManPADS missiles poses a serious threat to civil and military aviation. Aircraft self protection against missiles requires increased sophistication as missile capabilities increase. Recent advances in self protection include the use of directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM), employing high power lamps or lasers as sources of infrared energy. The larger aircraft self-protection scenario, comprising the missile, aircraft and DIRCM hardware is a complex system. In this system, each component presents major technological challenges in itself, but the interaction and aggregate behaviour of the systems also present design difficulties and performance constraints. This paper presents a description of a simulation system, that provides the ability to model the individual components in detail, but also accurately models the interaction between the components, including the play out of the engagement scenario. Objects such as aircraft, flares and missiles are modelled as a three-dimensional object with a physical body, radiometric signature properties and six-degrees-of-freedom kinematic behaviour. The object’s physical body is modelled as a convex hull of polygons, each with radiometric properties. The radiometric properties cover the 0.4–14 μm spectral range (wider than required in current technology missiles) and include reflection of sunlight, sky radiance, atmospheric effects as well thermal self-emission. The signature modelling includes accurate temporal variation and spectral descriptions of the object’s signature. The object’s kinematic behaviour is modelled using finite difference equations. The objects in the scenario are placed and appropriately orientated in a three-dimensional world, and the engagement is allowed to play out. Low-power countermeasure techniques against the missile seekers include jamming (decoying by injecting false signals) and dazzling (blinding the sensor). Both approaches require knowledge of the missile sensor and/or signal processing hardware. Simulation of jamming operation is achieved by implementing the missile-specific signal processing in the simulation (i.e. accurate white-box modelling of actual behaviour). Simulation of dazzling operation is more difficult and a parametric black-box modelling approach is taken. The design and calibration of the black-box dazzling behaviour is done by heuristic modelling based on experimental observations. The black-box behaviour can later be replaced with verified behaviour, as obtained by experimental laboratory and field work, using the specified missile hardware. The task of simulating a DIRCM system is scoped, by considering the threats, operational requirements and detailed requirements of the respective models. A description is given of the object models in the simulation, including key performance parameters of the models and a brief description of how these are implemented. The paper closes with recommendations for future research and simulation investigations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8543, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures IX, 85430M (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.974812
Show Author Affiliations
Cornelius J. Willers, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (South Africa)
Maria S. Willers, Denel Dynamics (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8543:
Technologies for Optical Countermeasures IX
David H. Titterton; Mark A. Richardson, Editor(s)

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