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BOEING DEFENSE & SPACE GROUP: IMAGE GENERATION SYSTEM HELPS U.S. ARMY VALIDATE PERFORMANCE OF TACTICAL MISSILES

 SEATTLE, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- A computer image generation system that tests the effectiveness of missiles without actually firing them has been delivered to the U.S. Army by Boeing Defense & Space Group, the company said today.
 Called Sensor Vision III, the system was developed over the past two years at a cost of $3 million for the U.S. Army Missile Command (MICOM) in Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
 Sensor Vision III simulates the battlefield scene viewed by the missile's seeker. It will allow the Army to determine the effectiveness of two new missiles -- the "Javelin" anti-armor weapon system, and the acoustic sensor-equipped "Bat" -- in reaching ground targets.
 "We were chosen to develop Sensor Vision III because of our success on previous image generation systems, as well as our understanding of modern missile seekers," said Maine Tonkin, program manager for the Boeing effort.
 Advances in computer simulations have dramatically reduced the need to conduct many real test flights of missiles, he said. With computer simulation technology, engineers at MICOM laboratories have performed thousands of simulated flights.
 Here's how Sensor Vision III works:
 The image generation system electronically simulates the scene that a visually or infrared guided missile "sees" as it approaches a target. A typical battlefield scene would include tanks and other armored vehicles moving over terrain laden with explosions, muzzle blasts, fires, smoke, dust and other defensive objects.
 Tied to a seeker guidance system, Sensor Vision III will be able to determine how well the missile finds, tracks and hits targets under simulated battlefield conditions, Tonkin said.
 "What makes this system unique," he said, "is the very high resolution of targets, typically six inches, through the use of texturing."
 Texturing is the combining of actual photo or digitized infrared images with a computer model of, say, a tank.
 "With this application, you have an exact infrared representation of the target," Tonkin added. "The surrounding terrain and all other objects, including trees, are similarly textured."
 The simulated battle area stored on-line can be up to 10 by 10 nautical miles, according to the engineers who have developed the Boeing system.
 Sensor Vision III isn't limited to testing missile seekers; it can simulate an "out the window" view for pilot trainers. Three linked systems can display 120-degree field-of-view scenes for those trainers, with surprisingly detailed image resolution.
 New software tools developed by Boeing will enable Army personnel to rapidly construct target models in user-friendly fashion, preview a scene and set up a simulated flight sequence, according to Dave Moerdyk, the system's principal designer.
 Moerdyk says advances in computer software have made the system user's job considerably easier than with previous systems.
 MICOM has placed high importance on using image generators to verify missile performance, Tonkin said, and has awarded follow-on tasks to develop interfaces for another Army missile. Adjustments also will be needed to the system once it is placed into operation by Army engineers, he added.
 Boeing will continue to support the system refinements into 1996.
 Future applications of the system include its use as a trainer and as an operator evaluation tool, designers say. The system can replace the need to take an aircraft on expensive training missions that would subject the pilot to potentially hazardous flights.
 -0- 6/14/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photo available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Bob Smith of Boeing Defense & Space Group, 206-773-2816/
 (BA)


CO: Boeing Defense & Space Group; U.S. Army ST: Washington IN: ARO SU:

SW -- SE010 -- 1677 06/14/93 13:06 EDT
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Date:Jun 14, 1993
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