The MSH missile Warner operates in the solar-blind UV spectrum to pick the ultraviolet missile plume
, while the laser detector looks for emissions from laser guidance systems.
The improved Damien provides missile-warning alerts with a very low false-alarm rate and continues to provide warning information even after the missile plume
military transports have a directional IR countermeasure system, which can detect a missile plume
, track the incoming threat and send a modulated beam of IR energy to the missile seeker, jamming the guidance signal and veering the weapon off course.
Thanks to the short burning time of the Mistral motor--2.5 seconds, which is less than half of others in that class--the MPCV can engage targets coming from the same direction with a launch interval of three seconds between missiles, without the risk of the heat-seeking sensor locking onto the previous missile plume
Then the IR camera picks up the threat via its missile plume
, providing the targeting data for fine-point aiming of the jamming energy, which is a modulated waveform designed to jam a range of IR-seeker types.
A missile threat simulator must be able to adequately represent the observed characteristics of the hot missile plume
in the spectral band(s) of interest.
"The two-color [sensor] allows the missile plume
to be distinguished spectrally from the solar glints and clutter," Taylor said.
The UV systems are considered to be poor choices in heavy-ozone urban environments, where fundamental absorption factors reduce to almost nothing the received signal from the missile plume
. The LAIRCM SPO has solved the problem, at least for the Phase-I program, with a hybrid approach that uses both UV and IR sensors.
(The term used is "clutter limited," rather than "noise limited.") The challenge to designing the system is to select a set of "features" that will uniquely identify a missile plume
from all the other energy sources in a battlefield environment.
In spite of all this, none of the above-mentioned problems nor their combined effect prevents detection of the missile plume
radiation at reasonable ranges.
Technology development will focus on key components such as sources, optics, pointing and tracking devices and missile plume
and laser sensors as well as developing advanced jamming techniques against passive homing, command line of sight, beamrider missiles and missile detection algorithms.
Objects at high temperatures (such as missile plumes
) will radiate in the IR but with less power because of the wavelength shift up into the visible band.