Innovative Approach for Modeling the Impact of Paint Gloss on Visual and Near IR Detection
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-057
Topic Title: Innovative Approach for Modeling the Impact of Paint Gloss on Visual and Near IR Detection
Proposal No.: N141-057-0114
Firm: Aerodyne Research, Inc.
45 Manning Road
Billerica, Massachusetts 01821-3976
Contact: Frank Iannarilli
Phone: (978) 663-9500
Web Site:
Abstract: NAVAIR PMAs are motivated by substantial maintenance cost savings to switch aircraft paints from matte to glossy. Yet NAVAIR must confidently weigh these major cost savings against possibly serious survivability penalties from sun glints. To definitively answer these survivability trades, we propose to develop, apply, deliver and provide NAVAIR training for our GLint Assessment with SPIRITS (GLASS) Toolset. We will initially validate two modeling approaches: a SPIRITS-only approach and a hybrid approach using SPIRITS+Zemax. These 2 approaches conform to our desires to retain NAVAIR's investment in SPIRITS, with no changes to SPIRITS itself, with minimal or no investment in model development. Our hybrid approach exploits the individual strengths of SPIRITS and Zemax, thus avoiding substantial signature model development and capability replication within either baseline code in the absence of the other. Our Phase 1 Base effort will validate the directional and radiometric prediction accuracy of these alternative modeling approaches. Our Phase 1 Option effort will acid-test both approaches for suitability and tractability against realistic complex geometries, using a COTS curved-surface surrogate model of the CH-53E. We will also establish a feasible roadmap, compatible with likely sources and our geometry workflow capabilities, for acquiring the actual CH-53K geometry during Phase 2.
Benefits: Our GLint Assessment with SPIRITS (GLASS) Toolset will definitively answer the survivability trades between matte and glossy aircraft paints. GLASS will ultimately serve to answer such survivability trades for multiple platforms, beginning with the CH-53K, then proceeding to various NAVAIR platforms. Moreover, the span of survivability scenarios it will address will expand from sky-only backgrounds to terrain backgrounds, and from the visible daytime, to the nighttime NIR (night vision goggle) and unaided scotopic regimes.