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.