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Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS)

Raytheon / USA

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- Airman 1st Class Chris Korenaga checks the camera system of an RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. The Predator conducts aerial reconnaissance and patrols around the base's perimeter. Airman Korenaga is a crew chief with the 46th Expeditionary Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron and deployed from the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cohen Young)
The MTS multi-sensor payload integrates infrared and CCDTV sensors, laser rangefinder, designator, and illuminator with optional addition of a laser spot tracker.

The system provides high rate of stabilization (six axis) and flexible operating modes including integrated line-of-sight targeting (for laser designating), sensor fusion and automatic target tracking, using centroid, area and feature tracks. Embedded maintenance and alignment contribute to high reliability and reduced field support. An Inertial Measurement Unit is installed on the gimbal to enable accurate target geo-location, supporting J class weapons and automatic line of sight positioning.

A different version of the payload designated MTS-B was designed for the Predator B hunter-killer missions. This version uses a 20" ball with visible and IR imagers, to provide long range surveillance from high altitude, Including a 2048x2048 pixel focal plane array which enables a footprint of 200x48 meters from 25,000 feet, compared with 50x10 footprint obtained by standard MTS, from an altitude of 10,000 feet. When "stepping" such larger frames in rapid succession, the UAV operators can obtain a wider view of the area, and eliminate the "straw" view of existing payloads. This capability dramatically improves the resolution and coverage of the sensor. Utilizing existing digital zoom (up to x4 factor) the extended range sensor can quadruple the area coverage capacity of the sensor, when adequate bandwidth is provided for the system.

Besides intelligence gathering, the system performs target acquisition and engagement tasks by tracking, rangefinding and laser designation for on-board or remotely fired laser guided weapons such as the HELLFIRE missile, The system supports all tri-service and NATO qualified laser-guided munitions.


  Updated: 11/15/2005

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