Snipers and other optically guided weapon systems are serious threats in military operations. We have studied a SWIR (Short Wave Infrared) camera-based system with capability to detect and locate snipers both before and after shot over a large field-of-view. The high frame rate SWIR-camera allows resolution of the temporal profile of muzzle flashes which is the infrared signature associated with the ejection of the bullet from the rifle. The capability to detect and discriminate sniper muzzle flashes with this system has been verified by FOI in earlier studies. In this work we have extended the system by adding a laser channel for optics detection. A laser diode with slit-shaped beam profile is scanned over the camera field-of-view to detect retro reflection from optical sights. The optics detection system has been tested at various distances up to 1.15 km showing the feasibility to detect rifle scopes in full daylight. The high speed camera gives the possibility to discriminate false alarms by analyzing the temporal data. The intensity variation, caused by atmospheric turbulence, enables discrimination of small sights from larger reflectors due to aperture averaging, although the targets only cover a single pixel. It is shown that optics detection can be integrated in combination with muzzle flash detection by adding a scanning rectangular laser slit. The overall optics detection capability by continuous surveillance of a relatively large field-of-view looks promising. This type of multifunctional system may become an important tool to detect snipers before and after shot.
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Carl Brännlund ; Jonas Tidström ; Markus Henriksson and Lars Sjöqvist
Combined hostile fire and optics detection
", Proc. SPIE 8896, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications X, 88960I (October 25, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2028846; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2028846