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Comparison of MAPTIP FLIR Detection Ranges to the EOTDA Prediction Model

Author: McGrath, C. · Schwering, P.B.W. · Fritz, P.J.
Place: Bellingham, WA.
Institution: SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Source:Dainty, J.G.Bissonnette, L.R., Proceedings SPIE - Image Propagation through the Atmosphere, 7-9 August 1996, Denver CO, 76-84
Proceedings of SPIE
Identifier: 94929
doi: doi:10.1117/12.254207
Report number: SPIE-2828
Keywords: Physics · Forward looking infrared (FLIR) · Performance · Tactical decision aid · MAPTIP


The 1993 marine aerosol properties and thermal imager performance (MAPTIP) exercise conducted in the North Sea off the Dutch coast provided data for evaluating the electro- optical tactical decision aid Mark III (EOTDA) in a littoral environment. The EOTDA is a strike-warfare planning tool that is installed in the Navy's tactical environmental support system [TESS(3)] and tactical aircraft mission planning system (TAMPS 6). The objective of this report is to compare predicted detection ranges from the EOTDA with actual reported detection ranges collected during the MAPTIP trials. During MAPTIP, TNO Physics and Electronics Laboratory the Netherlands employed a Safire infrared FLIR system aboard a P-3 Orion aircraft and used the ship, the Hr. Ms. Tydeman, as a target. Ten sorties were flown and meteorological conditions were continuously recorded aboard the Hr. Ms. Tydeman. Additional weather observations were made at an oceanographic platform and at NAS Valkenburg. The weather information was compiled and converted to terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) code for input to the EOTDA. The Safire FLIR was installed as a user-defined sensor into the EOTDA using the minimum resolvable temperature (MRT) curves of the manufacturer. The EOTDA was then run using the standard frigate model included in the EOTDA target menu. When the results are compared with the reported detection ranges, the data was scattered and showed a tendency to over-predict detection ranges. The average error was 51% on first pass. After correcting the FLIR operator observations using the video recordings, the error was reduced to 41%. Clearly, improvements are needed in the EOTDA, such as, a more accurate target model, a ship course tracking capability, and improvements to the background and transmission models.