Modern combat functional plane can not do without surveillance and targeting optoelectronic system (IPS). She works day and night all weather and concealed in a passive mode without unmasking of radiation, providing a crew of all relevant information for the conduct of military operations.
All nestled in principle
Long years Western designers avionics for military aircraft preferred to conclude optronic sighting in case hinged containers. With the advent of technology "stealth" has become evident that the containers do the aircraft is very noticeable. I had to find other ways
Turn around at the bomb
1st ECO have been adapted for solutions to the main problems of "air-to-surface" and were produced in a container on the outside of the suspension under the plane — specifically, these devices and have a cigar shape. But why ECO equipment could not be hidden away inside the plane? One of the main reasons is that for throwing bombs with precision semi-active laser guidance was required, that the target for a few seconds was illuminated by the laser beam. Bomb targets when its head pointing captures the reflected beam bombers released. In those few seconds, the plane manages to proparhat significant distance, and floating bomb remains far behind. Means for highlighting purposes it is necessary that the source of the laser beam had, as they say experts at large angle of pumping, in other words, could a relevant angle deflected in a direction opposite to the movement of the bombers. Since containers handed out, they actually have no restrictions on field of view because the optical head in its front part has the highest mobility in at least a plane which is not shaded and the fuselage. Because the laser target illumination and did not represent prepyadstviya.
Modern ECO deeply integrated into the complex avionics and can operate in a consistent mode radar and other hyperspectral imagers. For example, working in passive mode, the ECO is capable of providing targeting locator or use it for more precise targeting of target identification. All this allows you to use the high-precision bombs «j-series" with the inertial-satellite-guided by the principle "- forget it" without going into a zone defense
But in our country engineering idea initially went in a different direction, and opto-electronic systems of container in the USSR were established. He also found the candidate in the form of integrated surveillance and attack systems that with all this proved to be more multi-functional than western standards. Namely, was created by one of the best for its time sighting systems, received the title of "Kyra". The database "Kyra" based on the principles of television target tracking with laser range finding and targeting the channel. The system was built into the nose of the fuselage of the MiG-27K, thereby nose of the car was the appropriate bevel. The laser range finder, highlighter, pivoting on one cardan could see from the corner of the goal of pumping up to 159 degrees. "Kyra" refers to the system daily acts — in general, and all the western containers since, well, some present ones were also "daytime" and not very different in characteristics from ours. "Kyra" was in operation until 1985, when the MiG-27K, along with her was removed from service. Russian development of integrated ECO received in the future development of systems KOLS, OLS-M, the RL-27 for MiG and Su.
The system of "Kyra", possessing both laser and television channels, was built into the nose of the fuselage of the MiG-27K, thereby nose of the car has received the appropriate bevel
Hunting for heat
The future development of opto-electronic sighting systems followed the path of a significant expansion of multifunctional capabilities, which is largely due to the beginning of the implementation of infrared (IR) matrices. It can be argued that modern ECO focus on new technologies of combat operations, while the position of airborne radars (radar) are represented not so much specific. The fact that the use of radar plane becomes noticeable to the enemy at a distance, is actually superior to the third part of the range of the radar. This factor limits the use of radar, requested special rules of its use. A matrix IR, integrated in the ECO not only provides a night vision system, and allows you to track down the situation in the surrounding air, and on land, in the passive mode. In other words, without any radiation. The use of infrared detectors does not preclude the use of active agents, such as radar or laser rangefinders and target designators. Moreover, the IR matrix of the modern, filled with artificial intelligence systems are able to work in a coordinated operation with radar. Locator, for example, can be used for a more detailed consideration of the object located on the ground, while the ECO thermal channel does not work with a real picture, and the thermal signatures (optical species) that identifies both the electronics board, for example, " launch "or" unit of armored vehicles. "
What's special EOTS — significantly increased range acts, especially in the lower hemisphere, which is very crucial for the interception targets like cruise missiles or drones hovering near the ground at low altitudes. Supplement similar functions already in the mode of IRST system a
llows EOTS also puzzles crew situational awareness
Do not light up in the eyes
Modern ECO — a functional implementation of the system around the clock, in what used three data channels. 1st — daytime television channel acts, built on a charge-coupled devices (CCDs). 2nd — thermal channel acts a night, working in a longish (8-12 mm) and medium (3-5 mm) of the infrared range. Third channel is represented by a laser range finder, laser designator and bearing spots running on non-hazardous to eyesight 1.06 and 1.57 microns. The latter is essentially in order to avoid problems when servicing equipment as technical special case can "light up" the beam for himself in the eye. It is also possible to blind "friendly" laser fighter, further illuminating the target with the ground.
Thanks to the multi-channel equipment ECO opportunity to use the new high-precision bombs (such as a series of JDAM) with inertial satellite-guided by the principle "- forget it" without entering the zone defense planning with a range of 40-70 km bombs. IPS can detect air targets at ranges of 100 km or more, the goals of the "tank" — at distances greater than 20 km, the objectives of the "bridge" — 50-60 km. They can immediately accompany 15-20 goals while keeping all of this mode places the rest of the review. A special CCD camera provides a jeweler's precision strike record the results and transmit the information to the command post in real time.
IR matrix forms the two types of infrared images — the highest resolution to accompany the recognized targets and the least clear — for the remote. Thanks to the gimbal angle covered, that the system is 360 degrees
Around and forward
The main modes of modern ECO — IRST and FLIR. First British abbreviation stands for "search and management objectives in the infrared range." This function is passive infrared scanning (in a spherical review) places around samoleta. Mode allows you to detect targets at great distances and identify them, providing situational awareness of the crew.
Mode FLIR («Forward Looking Infrared sensor") is addressed to the earth's surface and is used for navigation, and for the introduction of guns "air-to-surface". Variety mode FLIR — NAVFLIR gives the ability to produce low-altitude navigation and night approaches a black clock.
Usually, functions IRST and FLIR are carried on different devices, optimized for native mode, but knowing how to do related tasks under the control of a common software ECO. In modern Western aircraft of the 4 + IRST mode provides integrated into the nose of the fuselage special ECO. Its corresponding attribute — ball-shaped fairings ("balls") of sapphire, which protect the aperture of the incoming flow. They are placed in front of cockpit canopy with a certain offset from the central axis to reduce shadowing effect of the hull structure. FLIR mode until the container is made using eco, who have reincarnated in future integrated systems. An example of such a promising equipment — EOTS of the F-35 and RL-K MiG-35.
Regular container ECO Israeli company Rafael Litening suspended from the fuselage Swedish multi-generation low-profile fighter 4 + + Saab JAS 39 Gripen. It should be noted that there is a Russian design — mounted opto-electronic container "Peregrine Falcon-E" with thermal imaging and laser channels. "Peregrine Falcon-E" is installed on the Su-30MK-2, designed for export to China. Conventional weighted-dimensional characteristics for container systems: the length of the container less than 3 m, diameter 300-330 mm, weight 220-250 kg. Container worth $ 1.8-2.5 million, and usually the calculation of the gain of one container on three planes
It seems that may have been tied to the Western designers ECO container configuration, trivial shortcomings of these systems clearly contradict the technology of "stealth" in general and the ideology of combat aircraft of the 5th generation viz. Containers take a suspension point on which to attach additional weapons, and greatly increase the visibility of the aircraft. Because the transition to the 5th generation will mean the final rejection of the container technology. On the other hand, since the supplies of bombs with laser semi-active guidance of the world's more significant, ECO, packaged in containers will continue to be carried out for devices of past generations.
At the fighter of the 5th generation F-35 Lightning II ECO refers to the built-in type, and consists of embedded systems EODAIRS (operating mode IRST) and EOTS (operating mode FLIR, for "earth").
EODAIRS system contains 6 IR sensors placed more or less moderate around the forward fuselage in the cockpit. They have matched field of view and form a so-referred to as a distributed aperture, allowing to conduct a spherical view around the aircraft concealed in the passive mode. On the basis of estimates of the IR signatures system identifies the detection of air targets and be able to spot missile launches. The main difficulty in developing EODAIRS was the development of software for information management review of the various zones and display it on the screen or the pilot's helmet on a cockpit display. The main task was the fact that the pilot did not notice the sector boundaries review of individual sensors and beheld the image as a whole, with no head movement. According to the developers, this problem is solved completely, including the pilot's physiological nuances comparability with similar display option. The system operates in the mid-infrared range (wavelength of 3-5 microns).
What is the plane sapphire?
Electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) created on the base of the container system Sniper XR and has her common hardware blocks. EOTS forms the digital images of the location being monitored at the highest resolution helmet-mounted monitor, or a cockpit display.
EOTS has a wide aperture for faceted (multi-faceted) sapphire unique wedge-shaped fairing. It fits perfectly to the contours of the plane and does not contribute to drag, and the properties of visibility.
In EOTS used impact-resistant optical materials and coatings that provide the necessary transparency in the infrared range. They bask in the low supersonic flight and thus relieve the problem of thermal distortion of the target image and huge sighting errors. They are also great scatter the reflected radiation from enemy radar, maki
ng it a mark with random signature. It should be noted that the transparent sapphire fairing has a lovely golden color. The system uses EOTS medium (3-5 micrometers) IR range, weighing around 90 kg.
As for the not so long ago began to perform test flights of Russian fighter of the 5th generation T-50, the official disk imaging on the design of its ECO does not exist yet.