Investigations on Directed Infrared Countermeasures Risks to Fighter Aircraft Pilots

Lester de Abreu Faria, Luciano Barbosa Magalhães, Roberto D'Amore


Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) are used to protect aircrafts against missiles with infrared (IR) guidance. They are employed by military and civilian aircrafts, drawing away the guidance system of a missile as it attempts to lock onto the IR signature of the turbines. Unfortunately, the protection provided by these devices generates risks and challenges that must be overcome. In this paper, investigations on DIRCM risks to fighter aircraft pilots are carried out. Different kinds of lasers employed in actual DIRCMs are analyzed and the results show that, depending on their frequency (wavelength), damages can occur up to a distance of 4.8 km. The transmittance through the canopy of an F-5 fighter aircraft is evaluated and its effects on the IR propagation are predicted by the use of software called Counter-Measurements in PYTHON (CMePy). Results show that, even when there are interfaces between the pilot and the source of radiation, damages can occur, showing the importance of this investigation to the right understanding of this subject and future mitigations.


Aerospace; Safety; Defense systems; Laser; DIRCM; infrared.

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