PITBUL (Physics-based Imaging and Tracking of Ballistics, UAVs, and LEO satellites) is a graphical user interface (GUI) providing easy access to an evolving model developed for the simulation of aircraft tracking. The model generates sequences of images of airborne targets including all major image degradations, allowing one to evaluate tracking performance as a function of system parameters, atmospheric conditions, and scenario. PITBUL is specifically intended to model tactical high energy laser tracking scenarios, but is readily applicable to a wide range of uses.
PITBUL simulates target tracking with a high degree of physical realism. Pristine imagery is generated using HELSEEM with the Maxwell-Beard or Phong BRDF models and includes both reflection and emission. The imagery is distorted by spatially and temporally varying turbulence, atmospheric losses, optical imperfections, and sensor effects (pixelization, read-out noise, thermal noise, pixel non-uniformity, etc). Additionally, the path radiance of the atmosphere is included, as well as any backscatter, scintillation, and speckle due to active illumination. The degraded imagery can then be tracked using either a built-in algorithm (Fitts correlation or centroid) or any user-supplied algorithm. The control loop is adjustable to represent any combination of controller, fast steering mirror(s), and beam director. Tracked position is then compared with the true (calculated) aimpoint position in each frame to evaluate performance.
Dr. Kevin Keefer, Contractor- Research Physicist