Model development and system performance optimization for staring infrared search and track (IRST) sensors

Craig Olson, Michael Theisen, Teresa Pace, Carl Halford, Ronald Driggers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


The mission of an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system is to detect and locate (sometimes called find and fix) enemy aircraft at significant ranges. Two extreme opposite examples of IRST applications are 1) long range offensive aircraft detection when electronic warfare equipment is jammed, compromised, or intentionally turned off, and 2) distributed aperture systems where enemy aircraft may be in the proximity of the host aircraft. Past IRST systems have been primarily long range offensive systems that were based on the LWIR second generation thermal imager. The new IRST systems are primarily based on staring infrared focal planes and sensors. In the same manner that FLIR92 did not work well in the design of staring infrared cameras (NVTherm was developed to address staring infrared sensor performance), current modeling techniques do not adequately describe the performance of a staring IRST sensor. There are no standard military IRST models (per AFRL and NAVAIR), and each program appears to perform their own modeling. For this reason, L-3 has decided to develop a corporate model, working with AFRL and NAVAIR, for the analysis, design, and evaluation of IRST concepts, programs, and solutions. This paper provides some of the first analyses in the L-3 IRST model development program for the optimization of staring IRST sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInfrared Imaging Systems
Subtitle of host publicationDesign, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXVII
EditorsGerald C. Holst, Keith A. Krapels
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600614
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventInfrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXVII - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 19 2016Apr 21 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceInfrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XXVII
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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