Visualization of Ground Target Designation from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

March 1998
Deborah J. Violette Pierce, The MITRE Corporation
Dr. John J. SantaPietro, The MITRE Corporation
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The Common Ground Station (CGS) receives data from the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft and from other airborne platforms. High-resolution imagery such as that provided by an unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) carrying an infrared (IR) and/or synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor will be incorporated into an Advanced Imagery CGS (AI CGS) operation. While this level of integration provides a wealth of valuable information, it also increases the complexity of planning, assessment and exploitation which in turn dictates flexible simulation tools for mission rehearsal and operator training. MITRE has developed a ModSAF-driven model for a UAV equipped with a moving target indicator (MTI) radar for wide-area surveillance, and a Battlefield Combat Identification System (BCIS) for positive identification of friendly forces. The imaging functions are performed by integrating the UAV model with visualization software in order to render the sensor's view in real-time. This model forms the basis for a multisensor CGS simulation (MSCGS) which consists of the multisensor UAV combined with a UAV Control Station (UAV CS). The UAV CS controls imaging task assignments which take place when an MTI track is selected for imaging by means of a mouse click entry on an active MTI display. At that time, the UAV is commanded to fly an automatically determined trajectory in order to align itself for the imaging task. A beam footprint whose position, size and shape is determined by the sensor position, attitude, and field-of-view appears on the display as an indication of the relationship of the image display to the terrain in the operational scenario. A three-dimensional visualization of the designated target area then takes place on a separate display.

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