T h e J o u r n a l o f E l e c t r o n i c D e f e n s e | D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 2
he last time we talked about anything in the infra-red (IR) spectrum was in mid-2001. A lot of waterhas gone under the bridge in the interveningyears, and there have been significant develop-ments – in weapons, sensors and countermeasures.In this series, we will talk about some principlesand techniques and current developments.
THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM
The purpose of Electronic Warfare is to deny an enemy thebenefits of the use of the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) whilepreserving those benefits for friendly forces. That means thewhole EMS, from just above DC to just above daylight. That said,we have spent most of the last 20 years dealing with the radiofrequency (RF) part of that spectrum in this column. We will rem-edy this shortfall during the next few months, and bring thoselong-ago infrared (IR) columns up to date.
is a much expanded view of the EMS, with empha-sis on the optical and IR range. Note that the horizontal scaleis in both frequency and wavelength. The relationship betweenthese two values is defined by the equation:
F = c
= the wavelength in metersF = the frequency in Hzc = the speed of light (3 x 10
meters/second)In the RF portion of the spectrum, we normally use fre-quency for convenience; however the frequencies in the opti-
Infrared Systems and Countermeasures – Part 1
IR Spectrum and Techniques
By Dave Adamy
cal and IR portion are inconveniently large, so we usually talkabout these signals in terms of their wavelengths. There arethree parts of the IR spectrum important to us in EW• Near IR (0.78 to 3 μmeter)• Mid IR (3 to 50 μmeter)• Far IR (50 to 1000 μmeter)There are other bands and other band-edge wavelengthsdefined in literature, but we will use these definitions in thisseries.Note that μmeters are also called microns. In general, thenear IR signals are associated with high temperatures, Mid IRsignals with lower temperatures and Far IR signals with muchlower temperatures like those in which humans can survive.This will be explained and expanded later in this column dur-ing our black body theory discussion.
In the July 2007 “EW 101” column, we discussed “line of sight” attenuation for RF signals. In that discussion, it wasstated that the formula comes from “optics.” Of course, we con-verted the units and the assumptions to make a convenientformula for RF applications. [Loss = 32 + 20log(F) + 20 log(d).]In the IR frequency range, we use the optics basics.
shows the applicable geometry. The transmitter is locatedat the center of a unit sphere. The transmitting aperture isprojected onto the surface of the sphere. The receiving aper-ture is projected back on the same unit sphere. The ratio of
Figure 1: The Electromagnetic Spectrum includes much more than the RF frequency range.