Military Technology 9/2019

36 · MT 9/2019 Topic Serbia‘s new H145Ms are equipped with the FLIR Systems STAR SAFIRE 380-HDc, which retains a 15in diameter but features a similar ground clearance to 10in systems. (Photo: Airbus Helicopters) new customers, particularly on the naval side to upgrade from SD to HD,” noted Leonardo’s Horner. Naval IRST A smaller rotating EO/IR sensor is often installed on vessels, known as infrared search and track (IRST), which can detect targets such as boats or sea-skimming missiles without having to emit RF energy. Safran has developed a very long-range IRST known as the VAMPIR NG, which em- ploys a third generation FLIR sensor. The French company also offers a “cost-effective ” alternative in the form of the PASEO IRST, as well as the multifunction EOMS NG that combines both IRST and optronic fire control. Another system offered by Safran for fire control is the PASEO NS, which can be integrated into a combat manage- ment system. Thales provides an IRST solution in the form of the ARTEMIS, which equips the French and Morrocan navies’ FREMM frigates. ARTEMIS operates in the MWIR spectrum and can automatically detect targets both day and night, using a set of independent sensor heads directly mounted on a vessel’s mast or superstructure. Each sensor head incorpo- rates electronic stabilisation with real-time image processing that employs advanced algorithms. Thales also offers the MIRADOR Mk2 EO/IR system, recently selected for the German Navy’s K130 Batch 2 vessels. Conclusion It seems, therefore, there is a significant amount of activity currently taking place in the EO/IR market, with a plethora of options available to meet customer needs. Technology trends indicate a continuing demand for HD imagery from both day and thermal channels, with 4K imagery likely to appear in the near future. This extremely detailed imagery will be a gamechanger for battlefield ISR, although it is likely to require enhanced stabilisation methods, and its SWaP demands and effect on crew workload are still unknown. One way of reducing crew workloads – especially for surveillance missions – will be increased use of artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms that will be able to detect, identify and track multiple targets, prioritising those that require immediate action by human opera- tors. AR is also assisting crews in areas such as navigation, with this likely to expand to other areas in the future. f

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