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SensorFX & RadarFX - Physically Accurate Sensors 


SensorFX changes VR-Vantage into a physically accurate sensor scene generator

SensorFX is a plug-in module for VR-Vantage built by sensor experts JRM Technologies. SensorFX models the physics of light energy as it is reflected and emitted from surfaces in the scene and as it is transmitted through the atmosphere and into a sensing device. SensorFX also models the collection and processing properties of the sensing device to render an accurate electro-optical (EO), night vision, or infrared (IR) scene.

Extensive Sensor Coverage

SensorFX enables you to credibly simulate any sensor in the 0.3-16.0um band with VR-Vantage, including:

  • FLIRs / Thermal Imagers: 3-5 & 8-12um.
  • Image Intensifiers / NVGs: 2nd & 3rd Gen.
  • EO Cameras: Color CCD, LLTV, BW, SWIR.

SensorFX Capabilities

Click through the red tabs below or download the SensorFX Capabilities document to learn more.

Feature Overview

SensorFX Includes:
  • Material Library - Surface optical, thermo-physical, and EM material property data library
  • SigSimRT - Spectral Signature Synthesis and MODTRAN-based Atmospherics
  • SenSimRT - Advanced EO/IR Sensor Effects

Sensor Types Modeled

  • FLIRs / Thermal Imagers: 3-5 & 8-12μm
  • Image Intensifiers / NVGs: 2nd & 3rd Gen
  • EO Cameras: Color CCD, LLTV, BW, SWIR

Models & Terrain

  • Material classified DI-Guy Character Set
  • Material classified 3D Vehicle Set
  • Material classified VR-Village Terrain DB

Sensor Effects

SensorFX features a GPU-based real-time image processor that applies engineering-level sensor effects including:
  • Optics
  • Detector FPA
  • White noise (NET)
  • 1/f noise
  • I2 (NEI)
  • Signal processing
  • Display
  • AGC
  • Gain/level
  • Light-point haloing

Sensor Effects: Optic Settings

  • Aperture Shape: Circular vs rectangular.
  • Aspect Ratio: Ratio between horizontal and vertical Instantaneous Field Of View (IFOV).
    • Changes made here are most noticeable when blur is high.
  • Aperture Diameter:
    • Units are in millimeters (mm).
    • Used in diffraction calculations.
    • Lower values produce more diffraction spreading (blur).
  • Blur Spot Diameter: This quantity [mrad] is a measure of the amount of spherical aberration, and thus the focusing power of the lens. The more this number varies away from the focal point the more blur in the scene.
  • F-Number: Non-editable field. It is calculated based on the focal length and aperture diameter.
  • Focal Length: Non-editable field. It is calculated based on the FOV and aperture Parameters. Units are cm.
  • Halo Threshold: A “cutoff limit” as to which light sources produce halos. If this value is higher, only stronger light sources will produce halos.
  • Halo Radius: Determines the overall maximum size of the Halo.
  • Halo Intensity: Determines the maximum brightness of the Halo.


Sensor Effects: Detector Settings

  • Dwell Time: Dwell time is the time [µsec] over which the post-detector electronics integrates the detector output voltage.
  • Temporal NEdT: [degK] “noise-equivalent delta-temperature”.
  • % Fixed Pattern (Noise) : Unwanted signal component that is usually constant or very slowly changing with time.
  • % Poissan (Noise) : Also known as “shot” noise : statistical fluctuations in charge carrier number.
  • % 1/f (Noise) : Also known as “flicker” or ‘pink noise”, this occurs in any biased detector and is a thermo-mechanical effect related to lack of material homogeneity or transistor recombination.
  • Noise Frequency Exponent: [unitless] Also known as “beta”, this is the exponent of the 1/f noise power spectrum.
  • Noise Frequency Knee: The frequency above which 1/f noise is overshadowed by thermal or statistical noise from other processes.
  • Horizontal Detector Pitch : The horizontal distance between detector centers [mm], used in determining focal length.
  • Vertical Detector Pitch: The vertical distance between detector centers [mm], used in determining focal length.
  • Background Temperature : The effective temperature [degK] of the ambient background.
  • Detector Pixel Fill : [%] Term of measurement of FPA performance, which measures how much of the total FPA is sensitive to IR energy.
  • FPA (Focal Plane Array) Operability: This indicates the effectiveness of the detector and 100% would be fully functional and as the operability percentage drops the image quality drops.

Sensor Effects: Electronics Settings

  • Frame Rate : The frame rate parameter is used to determine the change in temporal noise per frame.
  • Pre-Amp On Frequency: Frequency at which amplification of the signal occurs after conversion to a voltage.
  • Post-Amp Off Frequency: Frequency at which amplification of the signal ceases.
  • Gain: This is the manual gain value. The Effects section sliderr will scale the gain from 0-100% of this value.
  • Level: This is the manual level and is added to the value from the Effects section, so if you are using a sliderr for that, then this would be set to zero. This could probably be left out of a GUI if the sliderr was being used.
  • Max/Min AGC: The maximum and minimum (i.e. range of) values the Automatic Gain Control will take into consideration when determining gain of the scene.

SigSimRT – Radiometric Image Generation

By JRM Technologies

SensorFX uses JRM Technologies' SigSimRT to generates physically accurate sensor images for VR-Vantage applications.

By applying advanced signature synthesis and atmospheric propagation models, SigSim’s ultra-fast algorithms credibily render the synthetic environment in any waveband within the 0.2 - 25.0um spectrum (UV, visible, near-IR, thermal-IR) and for arbitrary RF frequencies.

On-the-fly physics-based sensor modeling and an open standards material classification approach make it an ideal for real-time sensor applications.

JRM_SigSim_Atmospherics JRM_SigSim_Tank

SenSimRT – Sensor Device Modeling

SensorFX uses JRM Technologies' SenSimRT to model the detailed specifications of the sensing device and apply the correct effects to the imagery produced by SigSim.

SenSim is an advanced sensor modeling toolkit and run-time library for real-time sensor effects simulation of any optical sensor in the EO or IR passband. It provides engineering-level sensor modeling of the optics, detector, electronics, and display components, simulating appropriate Modulation Transfer Functions (MTFs), detector sampling, noise, non-uniformity, dead-detectors, fill-factor, 1/f and white noise, pre-and post-amplifiers, and displays.

SenSim can use the actual sensor component specifications to provide the most realistic sensor visualization experience.



GenesisMC - Material Classification

GenesisMC (not included with SensorFX) is an easy-to-use, GUI-based tool for high-confidence material-classification. Sensor simulations need to know what things are made of, not just what color they are. GenesisMC helps you map the textures and imagery in your synthetic environment to high fidelity material properties.

Its semi-automated approach speeds the process along, using smart reverse-signature predictive and spatial algorithms to predict the most likely surface material.

  • A Comprehensive Material Classification System
  • Advanced Algorithms
  • Semi-Automated Classification
  • Validation Tools
  • Signature Prediction and Spectral Matching
  • Dynamic Heating & Cooling of Active Thermal Regions
  • Extensive Material Library
  • Supports Industry Standard Source Data


RadarFX - Synthetic Aperture Radar Simulation

Radar-Ready Simulation

Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR, is a side-looking radar system that uses the flight path of an airborne platform to simulate an extremely large antenna or aperture electronically, and from that generate high-resolution remote sensing imagery.

RadarFX is a server that produces SAR images of a simulated environment that can be populated with simulation activity (see VR-Link and VR-Forces). This system allows you to develop training applications for reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeting that benefit from the unique characteristics of SAR images without actually deploying an airborne system.

RadarFX supports both Strip SAR, in which the track direction is linear and Spot SAR, in which the track direction rotates around a fixed point on the ground. It also supports inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR).

RadarFX is a great value for highly accurate, commercially available, radar image generation.

Forged in partnership — A smart marriage of physics and graphics

RadarFX combines JRM Technologies’ proven physics-based signature simulation with VR-Vantage’s advanced rendering architecture. RadarFX produces accurate SAR scenes using radar returns from the terrain and radar cross sections from vehicles, munitions, and natural and cultural features. The resulting scenes are served to your applications to be presented to users in the proper training context. One RadarFX SAR Server can supply images for any number of client applications that request SAR images.

RadarFX Capabilities

Click through the red tabs below or download the RadarFX Capabilities document to learn more.

Easy Integration into Your Simulation Architecture

RadarFX is a server that serves SAR images. You can install it on a computer on your network and it services requests from other applications that need SAR images. The product includes a simple-to-use software toolkit to make an easy job of embedding SAR simulation into your applications.

RadarFX also includes an example of using the toolkit to create a client application. The following figure shows a SAR image in RadarFX Simple Client.

RadarFX Simple Client

Physically Accurate SAR Scenes

RadarFX is built on top of JRM Technologies' proven physics-based signature simulation. RadarFX synthesizes physics-based signatures on-the-fly (OTF) from a single material-property encoded 3D database of terrain, cultural features, atmosphere and targets.

Applications of SAR

Synthetic Aperture Radar produces images of high-resolution at great distances, that appear to be taken from above — making a nice top-down view like a satellite scene. Since the radar pulses are not significantly disturbed by the weather and do not need daylight to make an image, SAR is particularly useful for Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Targeting.

  • Sensor Operators — RadarFX can be used in applications to train sensor operations within manned or unmanned aircraft vehicles/systems (UAV/UAS).
  • Command, Control, Intelligence training — where images from the SAR server are used to provide battlefield information to commanders and their staff.
  • Research & Development — where engineers use RadarFX to model the effects of using different sensor characteristics (e.g. varying wavelengths, pulse widths, etc) to evaluate suitability of use or concepts of operation of different SAR configurations.


Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR)

RadarFX supports ISAR. ISAR uses the movement of a target entity to generate a radar image instead of the movement of the emitter (as is done by SAR). It is predominantly used for maritime purposes. The following figure shows a series of  ISAR images.

RadarFX ISAR image

Correlated with Infrared, Night Vision, and OTW Scenes

Because RadarFX runs on the same spectral, material-property-encoded terrain and target database as is used for EO/IR wavelengths, the results are automatically fully correlated with the other sensor modes (for example, NVG, MWIR, LWIR) in the SensorFX imaging sensor simulations. A default set of radar cross section data is provided to represent each simulated entity and you can add fidelity if you have your own RCS files.

Signature Effects

RadarFX includes a wide variety of radar imaging effects including:

  • SAR Shadows.
  • Leading edge brightness.
  • Down-range/Cross-range resolution effects.
  • RF path attenuation, atmospheric scattering, and absorption noise.
  • Target radar cross-sections from imported RCS or FIELD files.
  • Component scattering and coherent summation using Jones Matrix (for resonances and nulls) Polarization.
  • Terrain areal RCS from Ulaby-Dobson parameters embedded in spectral material property files.
  • Choice of gain distribution type and directivities, for transmitter and receiver separately.
  • Sensor system noise as function of bandwidth and temperature.
  • Doppler spatial effects.

Sensor Controls

RadarFX  provides control over the following sensor parameters:

  • Frequency (GHz)
  • Pulse width (u-secs)
  • Pulse repetition frequency-PRF (Hz)
  • Transmitter polarization angle
  • Receiver directivity
  • Receiver polarization angle
  • Integration path length (m)
  • Transmitter power (W) and max power (W)
  • Antenna gain
  • System temperature
  • Saturation S/N ratio
  • Gain pattern
  • Display type

Frequency Ranges

RadarFX supports the following bands:

  • L-band : 1-2 GHz
  • S-band: 2-4 GHz
  • C-band : 4-8 GHz
  • X-band : 8-12 GHz
  • Ku-band : 12-18 GHz
  • Ka-band : 30-40 GHz
  • W-band : 90-100 GHz

Image Formats

RadarFX supports the following image formats:

  • NITF
  • PNG
  • Bitmap
  • Raw
  • JPEG

Export Control

RadarFX is subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations (EAR99). As such, it is exportable without obtaining an export license. Please be advised that as a purchaser of RadarFX, you are responsible for export, re-export, resale and transfer in accordance with the EAR 15 CFR, and as may be applicable; ITAR 22 CFR 120-130, in addition to any commercial licensing agreements between the parties.

Superior Technical Support

At MAK, technical support is not just an afterthought. Our reputation for supporting our customers is one of the key reasons that people choose our products. When you call or email us with questions, you speak directly to our product developers who know the software inside and out. When you buy MAK's products, you can be sure that MAK will be in your corner as you work towards successful completion of your HLA/DIS project. We've even been known to be on the phone with customers during their HLA certification process, or during key events.

When someone reports a bug, our engineers are quick to provide a patch or workaround, meaning you will not have to wait for the next release to have your problem addressed.

With maintenance, you are entitled to upgrades when they are released. Typically, new releases not only add support for the latest versions of RTIs, the RPR FOM, HLA Specifications, and so on, but also try to maintain compatibility with older versions as well.