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Evaluation of appropriate sensor specifications for space based ballistic missile detection

: Schweitzer, Caroline; Stein, Karin; Wendelstein, Norbert


Ebert, Reinhard R. (Ed.) ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IX : Security + Defence; 24.09.-27.09.2012, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2012 (Proceedings of SPIE 8541)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9282-1
Paper 85410M
Conference "Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems - Technology and Applications" <9, 2012, Edinburgh>
Fraunhofer IOSB ()
satellite based missile detection; infrared; spectral radiance; background simulation; MATISSE; ballistic missile; EO sensors

The detection and tracking of ballistic missiles (BMs) during launch or cloud break using satellite based electro-optical (EO) sensors is a promising possibility for pre-instructing early warning and fire control radars. However, the successful detection of a BM is depending on the applied infrared (IR)-channel, as emission and reflection of threat and background vary in different spectral (IR-) bands and for different observation scenarios. In addition, the spatial resolution of the satellite based system also conditions the signal-to-clutter-ratio (SCR) and therefore the predictability of the flight path. Generally available satellite images provide data in spectral bands, which are suitable for remote sensing applications and earth surface observations. However, in the fields of BM early warning, these bands are not of interest making the simulation of background data essential.
The paper focuses on the analysis of IR-bands suitable for missile detection by trading off the suppression of background signature against threat signal strength. This comprises a radiometric overview of the background radiation in different spectral bands for different climates and seasons as well as for various cloud types and covers. A brief investigation of the BM signature and its trajectory within a threat scenario is presented. Moreover, the influence on the SCR caused by different observation scenarios and varying spatial resolution are pointed out. The paper also introduces the software used for simulating natural background spectral radiance images, MATISSE ("Advanced Modeling of the Earth for Environment and Scenes Simulation") by ONERA [1].