The 96th Test Wing: Excelling in Seeker and Sensor Data Collection


Posted: November 2, 2019 | By: Rusty Bauldree

The 96th Test Wing’s Seekers and Sensors Test Flight provides an end-to-end test and evaluation capability for electro-optic/infrared (IR) and radio frequency (RF) systems and threat system performance to support weapons system platform survivability programs; camouflage/ concealment and deception assessments; and countermeasure and counter-countermeasure, threat system exploitation, blue system effectiveness, and vulnerability studies.



This extensive weapon systems performance and target signature measurement capability provides calibrated data across the full electromagnetic spectrum, including ultraviolet (UV), visible, short-wave infrared (SWIR), mid-wave infrared (MWIR), and long-wave infrared (LWIR) broadband; MWIR, LWIR, and UV spectral; SWIR and MWIR hyperspectral; and millimeter-wave (MMW) C, X, Ku, Ka, and W RF bands—all fully coherent and fully polarimetric (VV, VH, HV and HH transmit and receive channels) with 2-GHz bandwidth capability. Flexible air/ground instrumentation platforms allow measurement of all surface and airborne targets. Weapon system performance data and target signatures are used to develop/validate digital and hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) models for virtual missile-to-target engagements, etc.

Open-air assets include the Missile Warning Sensor Stimulator, Seeker Test Van, Signature Test and Evaluation Facility (with a 300-ft tower and rail-based target movement and rotating platform), missile plume simulators, Advanced MMW Imaging Radar System Rail-Synthetic Aperture Radar, MMW Obscurant Characterization System, Lynx: Ku-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar, Mobile Radiometric Instrumentation Tower System, and three flight certified pod-based platforms (the Beam Approach Seeker Evaluation System [BASES], the Calibrated IR/visible/ UV Ground and Airborne Radiometric Spectrometer [CIGARS], and the Supersonic Airborne Tri-Gimbal Infrared System [SATIRS]). Finally, the Eglin Mobile Missile Launcher System completes the end-to-end test capability, providing live launch capability for man-portable air-defense systems against real or simulated aircraft.

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