Directed Infrared Countermeasures
Electro-Miniatures successfully developed and delivered multiple high performance integrated slip-ring—resolver assemblies to support the NEMESIS directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) self-protection suite transmitters. The NEMESIS DIRCM suite was the first directed infrared countermeasures system in production and is currently in use by the military on various front-line aircraft platforms in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Directional Infrared Countermeasures (“DIRCM”) self-protection suites are a fully autonomous system to ward off infrared-seeking missiles threats from hitting aircraft in flight. The DIRCM system automatically detects a missile launch, determines if it is a threat, prioritizes (multiple threats), tracks, and then defeats the threats using a high-energy light, either a high intensity lamp or laser. This entire sequence is accomplished in less than one second.
The DIRCM suite was developed for military fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, and completed successful live-fire advanced IR-missile tests at White Sands Missile Range in 1998. The system is one of the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) high priority acquisition programs and was used during recent wartime conflicts.
The DIRCM transmitters employ sophisticated sensors, motion control, high intensity light, and must pass data, in a harsh operating environment. A wide variety of circuit types (power, control, data, and positional) are packaged in a tight envelope as the transmitter slews in the azimuth and elevation directions at a high rate in very demanding environmental conditions. The circuits needed to be packaged in a small size, creating a challenging electrical and configuration and structural design requirement for the integrated slip ring. In addition, the system required that a precision position sensor, a resolver, also be integrated into the slip-ring assembly to provide further space savings.
EMC drew upon its multi-channel slip-ring technologies and electro-mechanical packaging/integration experience to develop a solution that met the space, performance and cost objectives.
To date, in excess of 1,600 integrated slip ring assemblies have been manufactured to support the delivery of over 1000 DIRCM transmitters and are flying on over 20 different aircraft platforms. Platforms include the C-17 Globlestar, AC-130 Gunships, and MC-130 Combat Talon, to name a few. The NEMESIS DIRCM self-protection suite continues its development and is planned to be fitted onto commercial airliners.