Raptor

DECORATION.

The Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado, RAPTOR is a stand-off electro-optical and Infrared long-range oblique-photography pod.

The pod's high-resolution images can be transmitted via a real-time data-link to image analysts at a ground station, or can be displayed in the cockpit during flight.

Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado, RAPTOR, which is built by the Goodrich Corporation, is a new stand-off electro-optical and infrared (IR), long-range oblique-photography pod fitted to the Tornado GR4.

The RAPTOR system can create images of hundreds of separate targets in one sortie. The stand-off range of the sensors allows the aircraft to remain outside heavily-defended areas to minimise its exposure to enemy air-defence systems.

The images received by the pod can be transmitted via a real-time data-link system to image analysts at a ground station, or can be displayed in the cockpit during flight. The imagery can also be recorded for post-flight analysis. The RAPTOR system can create images of hundreds of separate targets in one sortie; it is capable of autonomous operation against preplanned targets, or it can be re-tasked manually for targets of opportunity or to select a different route to the target. The stand-off range of the sensors allows the aircraft to remain outside heavily-defended areas, to minimise the aircraft’s exposure to enemy air-defence systems.

The RAPTOR pod contains a dual-band (visible and IR) sensor, which is capable of detecting and identifying small targets from either short range or long range and from medium or high altitudes, by day or by night. The optical sensors gather high-resolution, motion-free images of extraordinary detail. The optical images are supported by IR imagery that can reveal differences in the shape, composition or content of objects from their thermal signatures. Daytime IR also offers superior haze-penetration in poor weather conditions, while the night time imagery can reveal details such as the fuel levels in storage tanks. The aircraft weapon systems officer controls the RAPTOR system using a real-time cockpit video display, enabling verification of target acquisition, and the conduct of tasks such as battle-damage assessment, or recording the images on digital tape for further in-depth, post-operation analysis

airspace

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