Engineers at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., are developing advanced imaging infrared seekers for future air-defense and close-combat missile systems.
Processing of infrared imagery at frame rates suitable for guiding high-speed missiles requires significant processor throughput, especially as integrators develop increasingly complex algorithms to optimize target detection, tracking, and terminal aimpoint selection performance.
Their solution was the IXZ16 16-SHARC VME single-board digital signal processor (DSP) from Ixthos Inc. in Leesburg, Va., for prototyping advanced imaging infrared seeker algorithms and conducting real-time seeker performance evaluation when integrated with the optomechanical sensor head.
The IXZ16 transfer data over the SHARC DSP`s link ports, and Army engineers are also using two of the Ixthos tightly coupled I/O mezzanine options to retrieve digitized camera data, the IX32G and IXIFPDP 32-bit single-ended digital interfaces.
The basic requirement was for processor throughput to support 60 Hz frame rates while using complex multi-frame processing techniques. Typical algorithms that run on the digitized imagery are single- and multi-frame techniques requiring frame registration and spatial filtering for the detection of targets and rejection of clutter backgrounds. Each specific application drives resolution and total field of view of these systems.
Army program officials say they are continually upgrading the real-time processing capability, and volunteer that they found the architecture and throughput of the Ixthos boards to be compatible with the applications. They also said they found the company`s software tools easy to work with, particularly for link port communications. - J.R.
For more information about the SHARC VME boards from Ixthos, contact Mark Keck by phone at 703-779-7800, by post at 741-G Miller Dr., Leesburg, Va. 20175, by e-mail at [email protected], or on the World Wide Web at http:// www.ixthos.com.