Questions & Answers
The Department of Defense is seeking prototyping support to address Modeling & Simulation issues in the area of countermeasures and countermeasure techniques. The development of countermeasures and countermeasure techniques to protect U.S. aircraft from threat missile systems is critical. The threat environment is changing at an ever-increasing rate. This reality requires the capability to respond rapidly to new threat missile systems. This cannot be done without an efficient means of developing prototype models, simulators, countermeasures, and countermeasure techniques. The advent of each new threat missile system triggers the requirement for the development of multiple new prototype systems. These requirements cannot be met without an efficient, flexible acquisition strategy.
Modeling and simulation (M&S) is an essential component of all current Department of Defense efforts to protect our platforms from threat weapon systems as well as ensure the effectiveness of our own weapon systems. M&S tools used for these types of applications are quite varied and take many forms such as live-fire engagements, captive seeker field tests, hardware-in-the-loop (HITL) simulations, software-in-the-loop simulations, and all-digital simulations. Model development is primarily driven by the availability of resources and information on the system to be modeled. If the actual hardware of the system is available, then (given the necessary time, resources and expertise) a highly accurate model of the system can be developed. Otherwise, information gaps will have to be filled with engineering and intelligence estimates resulting in a tool that may be of significant value but which must be viewed with appropriate caution due to the inherent uncertainty. In some cases, surrogate simulations are developed to explore the realm of the possible rather than emulate a known system.
A critical aspect of these M&S prototyping efforts is to be able to characterize infrared detector performance. Existing detector characterization methodologies provide the required data to support current M&S tools. However, current capabilities are insufficient to address some emerging requirements. One such requirement is the need to identify replacement detectors that are equivalent to a specific detector that is not readily available. Another, is the requirement to develop higher fidelity detector models capable of accurately responding to high frequency/high energy inputs.
The Government is seeking a suite of T&E ready simulators for threat exploitation and countermeasure development that have been fully documented, verified, validated, and accredited. Prototype simulators will be sufficiently documented to allow routine replication of the prototypes in response to run capacity requirements. An essential component of the development of these prototype simulators is a capability to perform high-fidelity infrared detector characterization. The process must be fully documented and validated and provide sufficient data to support the specification of requirements for acquisition of replacement infrared detectors and support the development of high-fidelity detector models.