The requirements and expectations from an EO payload in the urban war scenario are very different from other war scenarios, and the CONTROP STAMP payloads were designed to meet the challenge.
Firstly, in the urban scenario, where the forces include infantry troops combined with armed vehicles and tanks, the contact ranges with enemy are often very short and the direction of the enemy could be from all sides (360°). In addition, the enemy can come from different angles (not just vertically) – for example they could be hiding in a ditch or on the roof of a tall building. In some cases, enemy troops could also be located at a distance and using long-range ammunition or missiles. The urban war scenario presents additional problems and requirements from the EO payload.
LINE OF SIGHT
As the urban terrain is comprised mostly of buildings, walls and other obstacles, there is an operational need for a high-quality real-time video image from the sky above. This is crucial for mission effectiveness, including:
- Battlefield intelligence (detect, identify, track and locate enemy troops) for battle planning, which must be in real-time, during the action
- Protection of friendly troops, in real-time, to detect enemy ambush or roadside charge
- Command and control of friendly troops, including location, to allow tracking of one’s own forces and supporting them
For this reason, the UAV must be above the forces, with a payload capability, in order to track targets at very steep angles, mostly at the nadir point. This requires a three or four-gimbal payload (a two-gimbal payload will not provide a stable enough picture at the nadir point).
In the urban scenario, there may be enemies intermingling with civilians. This requires a very high-quality image to be able to differentiate between them, and to identify if the suspect is carrying a TV camera or a missile launcher. In addition one must be able to differentiate between enemy forces and one’s own forces to prevent friendly fire. Again, this requires a high-quality image from the sensor and a highly stabilised payload in order to achieve that.
With a small UAV and in urban warfare, the flight level and the ranges to the target are very dynamic and constantly changing. Therefore, it is imperative that the CCD or IR camera should have a continuous optical zoom lens to enable the operator to adjust the field of view and the resolution of the image to meet specific needs.
ACCESSIBILITY OF IMAGE
In urban warfare, all troops need to have the video image available to them, and to use the image for their specific requirements, which are quite unique for each individual unit. This requires:
- Image receiver capability for the troops
- A high-quality and user-friendly image, especially at night (FLIR)
- A user-friendly payload
- All required data in the video, combined with the image
- A payload used by all troops that must be easy to learn and use, including the most crucial IR image interpretation
VIDEO ENHANCEMENT CAPABILITIES
During urban operations, the light intensity varies between bright sunny conditions to dark shaded areas. These varying conditions require special video enhancement capabilities to overcome different image problems, providing the operator with maximum viewing capabilities in all light conditions.