The Australian Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) has developed a real-time scene generation software for improving the effectiveness of missile performance.
The new VIRSuite can be used for analysing, assessing and developing electro-optical systems in a range of complex scenarios and environments.
The electro-optical systems play a key role in improving the survivability and operational effectiveness of the F-35A joint strike fighter, by warning the pilot of the incoming aircraft and missile threats.
These systems are also crucial to the effectiveness of air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface missiles that are used to attack both ships and land targets.
When combined with an infrared projector, VIRSuite enables virtual reality for heat seeking missiles ‘flown’ in a laboratory, DST stated.
This real-time scene generation software was initially used in testing and in improving the capabilities of the short range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM) imaging infrared seeker.
DST defence researcher Shawn Garner said: “A great deal of effort was invested to ensure the VIRSuite scenes matched those captured by ASRAAM during firings and initial testing.”
The VIRSuite was also used to carry out a series of ASRAAM missile firings against a drone aircraft target that had never previously been seen in the air.
Garner added: “We were able to measure a similar engine on the ground and modify it to match the physical characteristics of the target.
“We also took advantage of some work done elsewhere in DST on infrared signatures (heat emissions) to produce a predicted signature model for the target.”
By inputting this data into the VIRSuite software, the ASRAAM team was able to work with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to plan a set of accurate firings against the target which met all objectives, according to the statement.
The software considers background clutter, including sun-glint on clouds and the way the waves interact with vessels. It is also capable of replicating sparse desert environments and complex urban environments.
It can generate detailed scenes in visible, ultraviolet and infrared bands with high degrees of accuracy, including atmospheric effects.
DST and Consilium Technology are working together to produce a Collaboration Project Agreement for the ongoing support and development of VIRSuite.
Image: A VIRSuite generated scene for air-to-air missile testing with an aircraft dispensing flares in front of a cloud background. Shawn Garner, pictured inset. Photo: courtesy of the Commonwealth of Australia.