Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Damocles XF dropped, PDL NG for 2018

Air & Cosmos N°2305 gave us two pages about the future of designation pods for Rafale.

First of all, Damocles XF (and improved Damocles with a TV channel) is dropped.

Then, it's all about the PDL NG (Pod de Désignation Laser Nouvelle Génération = New Generation Laser Designation Pod).

We learn that France will, alone, invest € 450 millions for 45 pods which will equip both Mirage 2000D and Rafale.
While Damocles only used a 320x240 IR sensor, the PDL NG will use a  640x520 matrix. This resolution will be doubled by a micro-scanning technique, a solution preferred to a 1024 pixels wide matrix.
Of course, this IR sensor will be complemented by a TV channel for daylight operations and identification of very small targets (something which lacked with the Damocles too).

Another feature will be an improved geolocalization using GPS + INS (from the airplane) for near-metric accuracy.  Damocles already proposed such a function, but not as accurate as the AASM.

The RCS (radar cross section) of the pod will be reduced.

Last but not least, the PDL NG will be carrier compatible.

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