News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

b. Sensors Technology

CO2 LADAR Development Programs. SMDC is developing two CO2 laser sensor systems that differ in their measurement energy, pulse repetition rates, compactness, and applications. The two technologies are the field LADAR (FL) and the multiple–folded laser (MFL). The FL is more advanced in its development and is bigger in mass (180 X), volume (1400 X), measurement energy (40 X), and transmitter power (10 X) than the MFL, as suggested by the data in Table D–6. Research goals for both devices are targeted at reducing mass and volume, demonstrating functionality for multiple applications, and developing high speed signal processors for their different waveforms. Due to the compactness of the MFL, example candidate roles include being a seeker for a discriminating interceptor or a precision surveillance sensor on a lightweight UAV. The high energy measurement capability of the FL makes it a candidate for hosting on a satellite or a manned aircraft.

The CO2 laser radar offers several payoffs for space and missile defense applications, including:

Remote sensing for detection and identification of chemical warfare agents
Missile, aircraft, or satellite hosting for missile defense sensing
Multifunction sensing of missiles in boost, midcourse, or terminal phases of flight
Cruise missile detection and track in clutter
Range–Doppler imaging for highly effective discrimination of advanced threats
Precision track, precision launch point estimates (LPEs), and precision impact point prediction
Precision guidance for HTK intercepts
Imaging for precision HTK aimpoint selection
Stealth target sensing
Counterelectronic warfare
Accurate miss distance and kill assessment measurements.

The CO2 LADAR technology development program is shown in Table D–6.

Table D–6.  CO2 LADAR Development Technology Plan

System Element


By 2003

By 2009

By 2015

Innovations Needed

Compact, LightWeight Coherent CO2 (MFL)

Wide bandwidth waveform for imaging 340 MHz 750 MHz Efficient A/O


Transmitter power (issue—long range measurements) 100 watts 150 watts 250 watts 350 watts Small RF power supplies
Frequency Stability 100 kHz 2 kHz Stable materials
Range–Doppler Images

Range Resolution

Doppler Resolution


45 cm

50 cm/s


20 cm

2 cm/s


20 cm

1 cm/s



Laser Radar Sensor




15 kg

8 liter


5 kg

4 liter




Lightweight materials

Waste heat removal

Beam Director

Lightweight, Low Volume

Agile, Fast Retargeting


20 kg

10 targets/s


4 kg, 3 liter

100 targets/s


2 kg, 2 liter

500 targets/s


1 kg, 1 liter

1000 target/s


Lightweight materials

Signal Processor

Lightweight, Low Volume

Agile, Fast Retargeting

5 kg, 2 liter


0.5 kg, 0.4 liter


0.2 kg, 0.2 liter



0.1 kg, .05 liter



Electronic packaging


Wide Bandwidth waveform for Imaging 1 GHz complete 1997        




1,110 W fixed site

200 lb/joule


800 W (fielded system)

50 lb/joule




Discharge loading

Optical materials

Frequency Stability ( improve velocity measurements) 60 kHz 4 kHz Atomic flash molecular stabilization
Range Doppler Images

Range Resolution

Velocity Resolution


20 cm

37 cm/s



10 cm/s


2 cm/s



Currently available

Discharge stability & algorithms

Laser Radar Sensor




6,000 lb

400 cubic feet


1,000 lb

200 cubic feet





Optics/Beam Director




2000 lb

130 cubic feet


500 lb

25 cubic feet






Advanced Detector Array Concepts 2 2 8 8 64 64 Materials processing
Reduce Signal Processing Size and Weight




200 lbs

15 cubic feet


100 lbs

7.5 cubic feet


50 lbs

3.75 cubic feet



Large–scale integration

Signal Processing Speed Increase

Clock Rate

Bus Speed


200 MHz

20 MB/s


+16 Xs

500 MHz

500 MB/s


+16 Xs

1 GHz

1 GB/s


Reconfigurable hardware

Semiconductor technology

Semiconductor technology

Parallel architecture

Predicable A/D Converters for Wide Bandwidth and High Speed



500 M/s

2 G/s

8–10 effec bits

1 G/s

20 G/s

10–12 effec bits

4 G/s

40 G/s

Semiconductor device technology
Airborne/Helicopter System Design/Build LIDAR available 2001 Algorithm & software
Extend Wavelength Agile Operation LWIR Double CO2 Solid–state MWIR Improve crystal technology
CO2 LADAR/LIDAR Hybrid Air Mobile Package LWIR/MWIR


Solid–state LWIR/MWIR


Improve high–power solid–state laser & crystals
Clandestine Chemical Processing to Detect Solvents LIDAR available 2001 Algorithms & software

Advanced Radar Technology Program.
This program is developing advanced radar sensors for surveillance, interceptor seekers, and space sensor missions. These sensor outputs will be data fused with other active/passive sensor outputs that are remotely or collocated on the same platform to form improved target detection, discrimination, and kill assessment. Development of advanced radar technologies will achieve more efficient, more rapidly deployable sensor systems for detection of missile threats (SRBM, cruise, aircraft, UAV), and they will provide data for precision, accurate engagement with flexible reengagement capabilities.

The technologies in Table D–7 will provide precision tracking for engagement by joint forces of hostile targets, timely and accurate data for responsive command and control (C2), accurate assessment of results, and flexible reengagement capabilities. They will also develop high performance analog–to–digital (A/D) converters, nonvolatile memories, and component testing of both government–developed and commercial off–the–shelf (COTS) microelectronics.

Table D–7.  Advanced Radar Technology Plan

System Element


By 2003

By 2009

By 2015

Innovations Needed

High–Power, High–Efficiency, Solid–State Transmit/Receive Modules


Increase Module Power

Increase Module Efficiency

>$1,000 ea

20 W


<$1,000 ea

>25 W


<$500 ea

>30 W


<$300 ea

>40 W


New semiconductor material

Wide Bandwidth RF for Threat Identification and Active Imaging ~ 1 GHz >1 GHz >2 GHz >4 GHz Advanced A/D converters
Complex RF Waveforms for Feature Extraction & Imaging and ECCM ~ 1 GHz >1 GHz >2 GHz >4 GHz Capability & terahertz electronics
Adaptable Beamforming (ADBF) <100 MHz >1 GHz >2 GHz >4 GHz True time delay
Advanced Signal Processing <1 GHz >1GHz >2 GHz >4 GHz Advanced analog components & digital components

Focal Plane Array (FPA) Processing and Packaging Technology Development Program. The objective of this effort is to develop the architecture and components of FPA signal processing for near– to mid–term IR/visible mosaic sensors, and to transition these technologies to U.S. sensor systems. Beginning in FY91, this technology effort has significantly advanced FPA signal processing and packaging by reducing the size, weight, and power needed for these processing functions. The program was initiated to develop circuitry and packaging technology to process and manage the data from very large sensors, particularly in the presence of transient effects induced by nuclear radiation environments. This development created a "library" of very lower power, on focal plane image data processing circuits that significantly improved data transmission from the focal plane of high–resolution sensors. The digital interface reduces assembly and test costs and results in lower equipment maintenance cost. The focal plane packaging technology allows the stacking and interconnecting of multiple integrated circuits.

A high–density, multilayered, cryogenic packaging technology supports on focal plane signal processing for applications that range from very large field–of–view (FOV) satellite sensors to space, power, and heat dissipation constrained vehicle interior and man–portable applications. A basic application of the technology incorporates A/D conversion on the focal plane of both strategic and tactical IR sensors to modularize the hardware and reduce cost and complexity. The digital interface reduces assembly and test costs and results in lower equipment maintenance cost. The focal plane packaging technology allows the stacking and interconnecting of multiple integrated circuits. The low thermal mass of the very thin signal processing circuits permits focal plane signal processing for sensor applications that require rapid cool down. The package is designed to operate at temperatures as low as 10K (see Table D–8).

Table D–8.  Focal Plane Array Processing and Packaging Technology Plan

System Element


By 2003

By 2009

By 2015

Innovations Needed

IR FPAs With Integrated (on FPA) Signal Processing Electronics for Fast Frame Rate Seeker 100 Hz,
10 k Hz,
1 MHz 1 GHz Materials research
Reduce Electronics Size and Weight By Factor of 8 Xs 20 Xs 40 Xs 100 Xs Packaging technologies
Volt Logic 3.3 volt 1/2 volt 0.01 0.01 Materials & processes
High Operational Temperature IR FPAs 100K 100_K,
D 0.01_C
D 0.001 _C Two color Materials research
IR FPAs for Long–Range Launch–and–Forget Operation Two color,
mid wave
two color
Three–color IR Materials & processes
IR Device With Electronics 256  256,
180 mAmps
512   512,
140 mAmps
1024   1024,
120 mAmps,
intelligent processing
Grow focal plane with electronics all–in–one monolithic unit Materials & etching technology

Multimission Sensor Suite (MMSS). The proposed MMSS is a small, lightweight sensor system for surveillance and tracking of TBMs during boost phase and early mid–course flight, and for cruise missiles throughout their entire flight trajectory. The MMSS will employ two passive IR sensors (one for surveillance and one for tracking), X–band radar, and laser ranger in a suite onboard a UAV operating at an altitude around 65,000 feet for periods greater than 24 hours. The technological innovations required to develop the MMSS will lead to improvements in power generation technology, thermal battery technology, electronic component technology, and electric power distribution technology, which will benefit both government and civilian users.   The proposed X–band radar component of the sensor suite will provide the Army with a highly portable system with performance characteristics comparable to THAAD—Ground–Based Radar.

Desired performance can be achieved with existing technology but with an unacceptable weight penalty. Existing capabilities and the technological innovations and improvements needed to retain desired performance while achieving the required reduction in weight for each system element by 2015 are described in Table D–9.

Table D–9.  Multimission Sensor Suite Technology Plan

System Element


By 2015

Innovations Needed

Passive IR Sensors

One Surveillance

One Tracking


Mass at 200 kg

3–faced (120_) wide FOV (13_ elevation, 360_ azimuth)


Mass at 80 kg

Retain performance capability

Lightweight gimbals (reduce weight of control mechanism by 50%)
Laser Ranger Mass at 100 kg

Can range:

TBMs to 500 km CMs to 200 km

Mass at 30 kg

Retain performance capability

CO2 MFL (240–W unit weighing 14 kg, 10–fold weight loss)
X–Band Radar Mass at 27000 kg

Performance on par with THAAD–:

Detect/track TBMs 300 to 600 km

Detect CM 200 km

Track CM 100 km

Mass at 3020 kg

Retain performance capability

Fuel cell & power generation technology

Electronic components (reduce weight by 40%)

High capacity/ high power density fuel cell

Develop HTS YBCO wire to lower generator weight by a factor of 4

Antennae array packaging/cooling technology & low temperature transistor technology (reduce antennae weight by 15%)

Tile technologies for T/R modules (reduce antennae weight by additional 25%)

HTSC technology for power distribution (cut heat dissipation in half)

Local oscillator technologies (lower power & cooling requirements by 25%)

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