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AFRL Addressing Anti-Aircraft Threat Detection Needs

The Air Force Research Laboratory is working with the service branch's collection management division to automate the detection of ground-based anti-aircraft weapons. David Sobota and Capt. Yongjun Yoon of AFRL's sensors directorate are collecting signature data based on five of the Air Force Museum's anti-aircraft guns, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base said Friday. The two intend to fabricate these guns via radar reflectivity measurements, and use resulting replicas for future tests.

"We will design the mockup so it looks like a real AAA gun to the radar, but it has to be much lighter and reconfigurable,” said Sobota who added that modern versions of these guns are used against unmanned aerial vehicles. "As the adversary is firing at your UAVs, you can detect which AAA are firing, backtrack their projectiles and either warn the other UAVs to stay away, cue other UAVs to find targets nearby or destroy the AAA gun itself," he noted.

The team is in talks with the U.S. Army to gather data on plasma measurements in gun-firing and Doppler gun recoil. Sobota said that future anti-air threats would include railguns and plasma powered and electro-thermal guns.

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