MSPO: Polish Thermal Vision Systems for the Rosomak APC

  • Image Credit: Radmor radios presented during the MSPO 2016 defence salon in Kielce.

PCO S.A., during the MSPO 2016 Kielce Defence Salon, is presenting its KLW-1R Asteria thermal vision camera which is offered, among other applications, as the equipment which is to be fitted onto the Rosomak wheeled APCs. The camera is suitable to be mounted both in case of the manned, as well as unmanned turret systems.

KLW-1 Asteria cameras are already being used by the Polish Armed Forces. The Asteria cameras have been fitted onto the modified PT-91 Twardy tanks, replacing the imported 1st generation thermal vision devices that have been applied onboard the vehicles of this type originally.

KLW-1 camera is being developed in several versions, including the KLW-1R variant which is destined to be used on the Rosomak APCs. PCO S.A offers the Asterias both for the existing Rosomak vehicles which have been fitted with the manned Hitfist-30 turrets, as well as for the prospective platforms which are expected to feature the unmanned ZSSW-30 turret modules.

The Rosomaks have been originally fitted with the Tilde FC FLIR systems, however, implementation of a new camera is going to improve the observation parameters. Moreover, the new cameras could also be integrated with other combat vehicles fitted with the aforesaid type of equipment, including the PT-91 main battle tank. Finally, procuring a camera from a domestic manufacturer would increase the operational safety for the device within the whole lifetime of the system during its service.

Asteria Rosomak

KLW-1R Asteria camera has been fitted with a cooled 3rd generation detector with a resolution of 640 x 512 pixels, operating within the long wave LWIR band. NETD coefficient defining the thermal sensitivity of the camera does not exceed 30 mK, which means that, during the observation, one may distinguish objects, in case of which the temperature difference is as small as 0.03 K (equivalent to 0.03 degrees centigrade).

The camera allows the user to carry out observation with a wide or narrow field of view. When wide, 10 degrees field of view is used, the camera allows the user to detect a target, the dimensions of which are defined as 2.3 x 2.3 meters, at distances of at least 4.7 kilometers. In case of the narrow field of view of 3 degrees, minimum detection range is defined as 12 kilometers, while identification range is 2.5 kilometers.

Asteria Rosomak

Application of a cooled detector expands the observation range and ensures that image quality is better. KLW-1 Asteria makes it possible to place the targeting symbols/crosshair (e.g. of the vehicular fire control system) onto the displayed imagery. Brightness and contrast may be adjusted both manually, as well as automatically. Moreover, the image polarization or orientation may also be changed. Moreover, KLW-1R  offers an option of selecting the analysis field for the imagery automation systems.

The image processing and filtering algorithms, along with the electronics designed for the Asteria  cameras have been developed at PCO S.A. In conjunction with design of the camera, the above elements are to provide the user with imagery of good quality, regardless of the application and weather conditions. Some variants of the KLW-1 camera have also been integrated with the T-64 (for a foreign customer) or T-72 main battle tanks.

KLW-1R camera has been adjusted for mounting onboard the Rosomak APC, however it may also be used within the fire control suites of other vehicles and within other observation and targeting suites.

So far, one example of the KLW-1R camera has been mounted onto an armoured carrier featuring the Hitfist-30 turret module, as ordered by the Support Inspectorate of the Armed Forces. Talks are in progress, pertaining to potential application of the domestically manufactured industry for the purpose of modifying or modernizing the series-manufactured Rosomak vehicles. Furthermore, as it was mentioned above, the KLW-1R camera is also proposed as a solution for the Rosomak’s fire control system, in case of the platforms fitted with the unmanned ZSSW-30 turret.