Could The Gimbal Video Show an Atlas V Launch?

Itsme

Active Member
If the camera was mounted in the gimbal I'd be with you. But there is no camera nor any lenses in the rotating part of the gimbal, on!y mirrors. The camera with its lenses is mounted in the fixed part of the ATFLIR.

The gimbal is not exactly looking downward either, because the jet is banking. I'd expect it would be looking more sideways with respect to the jet.

Which thread would you suggest to continue this discussion?
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Just to answer the question about visibility of a rocket launch from Jacksonville operating areas, rocket launches at night are easily visible from Jacksonville.
A friend in Wilmington, NC, noticed his security camera in the carport caught a fireball meteor (it was during the Taurids, iirc) and a SpaceX launch. If there is interest, I will seek permission to link or repost that here.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
If the camera was mounted in the gimbal I'd be with you. But there is no camera nor any lenses in the rotating part of the gimbal, on!y mirrors. The camera with its lenses is mounted in the fixed part of the ATFLIR.
And part of that optical system is a derotation device.
The gimbal is not exactly looking downward either, because the jet is banking. I'd expect it would be looking more sideways with respect to the jet.
Downward -2⁰ with respect to the horizon.
Which thread would you suggest to continue this discussion?
"Gimbal distance and Speed Range Estimates using Lines of Bearing and/or DCS"
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
The major problem with that Graves description are it indicates ATFLIR in SLAVE but video shows its not in SLAVE.

There are 2 screens in the F18 what was on the other one at this time? I assume the SA? As they talk about it. So which is this radar screen they switched from to show ATFLIR?
 

jplaza

Member
Something that strikes me is that Graves is a "second-hand" witness, while the pilot/WSO who recorded Gimbal remain silent. I guess he must be describing the general procedure of designing an target, which may or may not be what the WSO actually did.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
The major problem with that Graves description are it indicates ATFLIR in SLAVE but video shows its not in SLAVE.

There are 2 screens in the F18 what was on the other one at this time? I assume the SA? As they talk about it. So which is this radar screen they switched from to show ATFLIR?
If in the left DDI there was really the SA page, then everything would be much clearer. In the right DDI there is the radar page, they select the target with the TDC, switch to the ATFLIR page, which locks it with the autotrack. The fact that the WSO claims the presence of an entire fleet in mid-video, leads me to assume that the objects appeared on Radar (and then on SA page) after they began the stern conversion maneuver to the larger object.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
If in the left DDI there was really the SA page, then everything would be much clearer. In the right DDI there is the radar page, they select the target with the TDC, switch to the ATFLIR page, which locks it with the autotrack. The fact that the WSO claims the presence of an entire fleet in mid-video, leads me to assume that the objects appeared on Radar (and then on SA page) after they began the stern conversion maneuver to the larger object.
If that's what was happening then L+S or SLAVE would be boxed on the ATFLIR DDI overlay, this is how you point ATFLIR at a RADAR/donated track.

Autotrack is specifically tracking an object using contrast detection, the 2 are often used in combination where a SLAVE is done to point the pod at a RADAR track and then contrast tracking is turned on. This however would then still leave L+S or SLAVE boxed.

However in GIMBAL L+S/SLAVE are not boxed meaning the tracking we see is auto track only, meaning it is possibly not a current RADAR/donated track ie one that would be on the SA.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
If that's what was happening then L+S or SLAVE would be boxed on the ATFLIR DDI overlay, this is how you point ATFLIR at a RADAR/donated track.
I don't think it is necessary to slave the ATFLIR to another sensor to get LOS. Only if you designate it as primary track then you will slave ATFLIR to the L&S or BST. Otherwise you can safely continue to acquire the target with the LOS obtained from the autotrack.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
If you want ATLFIR to point at a track you have on the computer (RADAR/donated etc) you can either designate that track as your L+S then SLAVE to that If you want to point ATFLIR at a different target you can use SLAVE to point at the designated track that is not your L+S.

These are the 2 methods of pointing the ATFLIR automatically at tracks option one boxes L+S , option 2 boxes SLAVE.

Once pointed using SLAVE you can then set an autotrack to smooth tracking and have the SLAVE still there to keep it on target incase there's a visual loss of signal.

If you want to point ATFLIR at another target that is not a track, you can slew around with the TDC (or according to Alpha Check the helmet) until it's showing on the display, then you can attempt an auto-track only where the system looks for high contrast and tracks it using pixels alone with no assist from the track, this then can actually create a track based on the LOS of the pod.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
The SA shows tracks from the onboard radar and also donated tracks if configured that way, if the SRB's were radar returns that were being picked up by them or another RADAR donating then they would show up on the SA.

I think the proposed Atlas theory is the Gimbal object is the main stage rocket and the fleet on the SA is the radar returns of the SRBs.
 

Domzh

Active Member
is 40nm of distance resonable for SA tracks and wouldnt they be able to identify a rocket on radar within a sector that most likely was closed for traffic because of the launch?

i honestly dont know. it just feels very unlikely to me but obviously facts dont care about feelings lol
 

Edward Current

Active Member
I think we need to give up on the Atlas hypothesis. At large distances (like, >120 NM), in pretty much all of the scenarios, the object starts moving to the F-18's left but is accelerating to the right. So, moving in a straight line but slowing down (pretty much just like the clouds do), or approaching and banking horizontally while not climbing all that much over 34 seconds — despite being hardly higher than the clouds — or, descending if receding...none of which rockets do. And the elevation change of ~0.05° doesn't support it.

I suppose it could be an SRB that's still firing while taking a smooth descending/banking trajectory that points the exhaust increasingly toward the camera. Seems unlikely
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I think we need to give up on the Atlas hypothesis. At large distances (like, >120 NM), in pretty much all of the scenarios, the object starts moving to the F-18's left but is accelerating to the right. So, moving in a straight line but slowing down (pretty much just like the clouds do), or approaching and banking horizontally while not climbing all that much over 34 seconds — despite being hardly higher than the clouds — or, descending if receding...none of which rockets do.

I suppose it could be an SRB that's still firing while taking a smooth descending/banking trajectory that points the exhaust increasingly toward the camera. Seems unlikely
Yeah I was going to mention your simulation really doesn't have any path that fits a rocket.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
is 40nm of distance resonable for SA tracks and wouldnt they be able to identify a rocket on radar within a sector that most likely was closed for traffic because of the launch?

i honestly dont know. it just feels very unlikely to me but obviously facts dont care about feelings lol
The historical narrative on UFOs tells us that most of the most sensational observations, even made by military personnel or professionals, were nothing more than mundane solutions. To hypothesize that it was a rocket is not as absurd as to hypothesize that it was another super Hornet, or a drug plane. I proposed the hypothesis of the Atlas V 551 (five SRB) rocket. I take on all ethical responsibilities. In fact, I analyzed the sequence of events as described by the testimonies. I didn't want to do any graphical or geometric analysis, because I think the data is too approximate, and the margin of error that can significantly change the data only by varying some parameters by 0.1%. I just start by saying that doing the analysis at 30NM determines values that are consistent with an airplane. Doing this at 120NM results in values that are consistent with a rocket or booster. Everything is where an analyst wants to go in the challenge. An AESA radar can easily track objects up to 320NM, basically because the larger the object, the more consistent the return echo remains despite the distance. So too did ATFLIR. It can engage an object at a considerable distance simply because the IR imprint is intense, and the band on which it is set, allows the electromagnetic radiation to cross a large sector of the atmosphere without being completely absorbed. There are no technical foreclosures.

But what makes the difference is precisely the narrative.
Because the testimony speaks of an incident that occurred on the evening of January 20, 2015, off Jacksonville (the launch occured on 2045 EDT, january 20, 2015 from Cape Canaveral AFS, 60NM south of Jacksonville), with the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt which was probably at anchor off the naval base. And witnesses tell us that the object was 40 miles away from the aircraft carrier. If the fighters intercepted the object upon returning from the mission, then it is plausible that it was south of Jacksonville. But if this is a hypothesis not yet derived from confirmations, it is instead a confirmation that on the SA page there was a larger object and 5 smaller ones. And that these first passed the larger object in a wedge formation, and soon after were joined by the larger object. The pilots were on board an aircraft carrier. Do you think it was necessary to inform them of a space operation in an area that was not involved in their exercises, which took place in a restricted area? Moreover, the operations in the Eastern Range were managed by the U.S. Air Force?
Sure it can be another IFF-free fighter. Or a drug plane that ventured to fl250 300 miles off the coast, probably crossing a military area and a Range where a launch was taking place. Maybe by throwing 5 flares. You will rightly tell me. Perhaps it was the most suitable time to transfer a large package of drugs, because no madman would have had the courage to chase them in such a dangerous airspace ....
 
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Domzh

Active Member
didnt this board came to the conclusion the simulated trajectory wouldnt fit a rocket?

btw do you have a source where graves (?) said there were 5 smaller tracks plus the large one? not saying its not true, just out of interest to see if theres more detail suggesting a rocket.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
didnt this board came to the conclusion the simulated trajectory wouldnt fit a rocket?

btw do you have a source where graves (?) said there were 5 smaller tracks plus the large one? not saying its not true, just out of interest to see if theres more detail suggesting a rocket.
Certain.
This is a video where he illustrates to the AIAA the problem of UAP intrusions in restricted military areas:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhUwuaxiiQU

This is a sketch of what appeared on the SA page (taken from the video):
1647562089138.png
this is a frame when SRBs are jettiosoned:
1647562269171.png
Everyone can do the analysis he wants. Nobody prevents him. If you think it is an airplane, you will find in the graphical analysis a distance compatible with the speed of an airplane. If you think it is a booster in ballistic fall or a rocket in the trajectory of ascent, I assure you that you will find a distance where both the performances are compatible. You can also adjust the shot with the margins of error that the same system allows you.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Is it possible the "fleet" of UAPs is a set of rocket boosters and the primary target is a distant jet? Perhaps a "chase plane" for the launch, if they still do that...
 

Domzh

Active Member
heres a rocket launch captured from a F-35 targeting pod (flir)


and heres a falcon 9 launch on infrared


both show a significant trail.

i honestly cant see how a fighter jet could be oriented while banking and changing its orientation and never catch this very pronounced exhaust plume?

especially with the flir orientation in the "gimbal" video

heres also the full quote of Ryan Graves about what he saw on the radar tapes:

(if you dont cherry pick the 5 smaller objects wedge formation part - he said 5 to 6 in fact - but take all of it into account, then this definitely doesnt sound like anything a rocket would behave like:

And you can hear him in the video say, “Look at the SA page. There’s a whole fleet of them.” That’s what he’s referring to. And on the radar tapes, and on the SA page, you could see that there was about five to six. And if my memory serves me now, of the smaller objects that we were used to seeing. And they’re kind of flying in a wedge formation in front of that larger object. And then those turned around with some radius of turn and started flying in the opposite direction. And that large object, just kind of stopped and waited for those to kind of come back around. Then you see it kind of do that, that Gimbally shift, right? And then it started going back in the direction, following behind the wedge formation.

source: https://www.ufojoe.net/graves-transcript/

imo if we combine the footage above with Graves description of what the radar tracks behaved like, its pretty safe to say that we can neglect the SRB hypothesis)
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
If you think it is a booster in ballistic fall or a rocket in the trajectory of ascent, I assure you that you will find a distance where both the performances are compatible.
As far as I remember, this only worked for you with the "edge of a cloud" hypothesis, and the observer aircraft pitched up as for a climb yet flying level.
There's no distance where this gets any better, especially considering parallax/relative motion versus the clouds.
 
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Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
As far as I remember, this only worked for you with the "edge of a cloud" hypothesis, and the observer aircraft pitched up as for a climb yet flying level.
There's no distance where this gets any better, especially considering parallax/relative motion versus the clouds.
Never made such an analysis. You are getting confused with some other user.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
i honestly cant see how a fighter jet could be oriented while banking and changing its orientation and never catch this very pronounced exhaust plume?
The gimbal video would film the Atlas V after the separation of the stages.
As I have always said, the greater the distances, the more we have to consider other values of the parameters we take into consideration. The speed and size of the IR footprint for example. At 120nm that footprint would be more or less than 100 meters.
(if you dont cherry pick the 5 smaller objects wedge formation part - he said 5 to 6 in fact - but take all of it into account, then this definitely doesnt sound like anything a rocket would behave like:


source: https://www.ufojoe.net/graves-transcript/

imo if we combine the footage above with Graves description of what the radar tracks behaved like, its pretty safe to say that we can neglect the SRB hypothesis)
If we consider that the radar that is tracking the object is based on the fighter that is making a turn, that the rocket making an initially vertical climb (stationary on a horizontal section) and then more inclined to favor the gravity turn, the one described by Graves is perfectly compatible at the time of the SRB jettison.
The objects as perfectly described by Graves in the AIAA video are 1 large and 5 smaller. 5 + 1 = 6 No cherry picks.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Despite what Graves says there's no evidence in the video that the gimbal object is on RADAR at all.

If it were I find it odd that they would not SLAVE ATFLIR to it, especially if it were a real situation. If we accept that the GO FAST video is from the same aircraft and flight (based on voices and ATFLIR overlay config similarities) the whole thing looks like operators trying out as training or experimentation non SLAVE auto track acquisition of objects via ATFLIR.

This is based on GO FAST presenting a range and V/C upon successful auto track acquisition, likely meaning it was a RADAR track.

If these were real situations why would they not use SLAVE mode? In both cases.

If Ryan Graves or anyone else who allegedly understands how/why these things were done I'd love to hear an in-depth explanation.
 
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Edward Current

Active Member
If it were I find it odd that they would not SLAVE ATFLIR to it, especially if it were a real situation. If we accept that the GO FAST video is from the same aircraft and flight (based on voices and ATFLIR overlay config similarities) the whole thing looks like operators trying out as training or experimentation non SLAVE auto track acquisition of objects via ATFLIR.

This is based on GO FAST presenting a range and V/C upon successful auto track acquisition, likely meaning it was a RADAR track.

If these were real situations why would they not use SLAVE mode? In both cases.

If Ryan Graves or anyone else who allegedly understands how/why these things were done I'd love to hear an in-depth explanation.
Some people who claim to be knowledgable about this have said that it was slaved to radar, or acquired, or whatever the language is. This is not my area. Can the DCS folks weigh in?

I believe that in GoFast, the range number was a passive calculation based on trigonometry. IIRC, one pilot said that, but I don't remember who (not Lehto). The range is based on the two ATFLIR angular velocities, which also provides the approach velocity. However it has some assumptions, which is why Lehto refers to it as a "guess." If the system conditions were similar, I'd say that Gimbal doesn't have a range because the elevation was barely changing so it couldn't be triangulated.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
Despite what Graves says there's no evidence in the video that the gimbal object is on RADAR at all.

If it were I find it odd that they would not SLAVE ATFLIR to it, especially if it were a real situation. If we accept that the GO FAST video is from the same aircraft and flight (based on voices and ATFLIR overlay config similarities) the whole thing looks like operators trying out as training or experimentation non SLAVE auto track acquisition of objects via ATFLIR.

This is based on GO FAST presenting a range and V/C upon successful auto track acquisition, likely meaning it was a RADAR track.

If these were real situations why would they not use SLAVE mode? In both cases.

If Ryan Graves or anyone else who allegedly understands how/why these things were done I'd love to hear an in-depth explanation.
With which sensor then could they trace the trajectory of the 6 objects?
I have the feeling that in GOFAST the indication of Range and VC appears because the object is within the range of the ATFLIR at which this sensor is able to Acquire and designate a target and make it a track. Distance can be determined by triangulation. This is possible. Unfortunately we don't have too much documentation in this regard and it is possible that a video game does not have all the necessary implementation. So if someone who has worked on it for several years, as a US Navy pilot tells me, I tend to trust him.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Some people who claim to be knowledgable about this have said that it was slaved to radar, or acquired, or whatever the language is. This is not my area. Can the DCS folks weigh in?

I believe that in GoFast, the range number was a passive calculation based on trigonometry. IIRC, one pilot said that, but I don't remember who (not Lehto). The range is based on the two ATFLIR angular velocities, which also provides the approach velocity. However it has some assumptions, which is why Lehto refers to it as a "guess." If the system conditions were similar, I'd say that Gimbal doesn't have a range because the elevation was barely changing so it couldn't be triangulated.

It's not SLAVED because L+S not SLAVE are not boxed, this setting is clear in all the simulators and manuals we have.

As far as I know it is Lehtos claim about it being passive ranging in GO FAST and as far as I know it has never been backed up by any documentation. He was the first person to ever raise the possibility of this figure being achieved this way and also to state that it might be inaccurate in some way. Is not clear why an inaccurate figure would be presented to the pilot with no symbology to indicate inaccuracy, nor is there any idea from Lehto as to how inaccurate it might be, he used it in the same videos where he made huge mistakes about camera focus ranges and infinity focus, where he tries to backup the TTSA claim of a low fast object. So just saying if it's passive ranging and inaccurate just raises more questions.

The range popping up as soon as the object is acquired is considered by some to be an example sensor correlation with the computer matching the LOS of the ATFLIR with an existing RADAR target of known distance.

Angle ranging is not present in manuals or simulations we have for the ATFLIR it might be a feature of course of upgraded later versions or not there because of military secrecy it something but who knows really.

The issue is Graves should be able to clear this up, but he never addresses any of it in any real detail other then just claiming stuff that doesn't seem to match the videos without giving details about why the sims and manuals are wrong.
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
With which sensor then could they trace the trajectory of the 6 objects?
I have the feeling that in GOFAST the indication of Range and VC appears because the object is within the range of the ATFLIR at which this sensor is able to Acquire and designate a target and make it a track. Distance can be determined by triangulation. This is possible. Unfortunately we don't have too much documentation in this regard and it is possible that a video game does not have all the necessary implementation. So if someone who has worked on it for several years, as a US Navy pilot tells me, I tend to trust him.
The ATLFIR doesn't have a 'range' it's a camera.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
It's not SLAVED because L+S not SLAVE are not boxed, this setting is clear in all the simulators and manuals we have.

As far as I know it is Lehtos claim about it being passive ranging in GO FAST and as far as I know it has never been backed up by any documentation. He was the first person to ever raise the possibility of this figure being achieved this way and also to state that it might be inaccurate in some way. Is not clear why an inaccurate figure would be presented to the pilot with no symbology to indicate inaccuracy, nor is there any idea from Lehto as to how inaccurate it might be, he used it in the same videos where he made huge mistakes about camera focus ranges and infinity focus, where he tries to backup the TTSA claim of a low fast object. So just saying if it's passive ranging and inaccurate just raises more questions.

The range popping up as soon as the object is acquired is considered by some to be an example sensor correlation with the computer matching the LOS of the ATFLIR with an existing RADAR target of known distance.

Angle ranging is not present in manuals or simulations we have for the ATFLIR it might be a feature of course of upgraded or military secrecy it something but who knows really.

The issue is Graves should be able to clear this up, but he never addresses any of it in any real detail other then just claiming stuff that doesn't seem to match the videos without giving details.
SLAVED means that the LOS is given by another sensor. The ATFLIR can follow an object through the LOS that it generates as it is a target acquisition sensor through infrared images. it's so simple that I don't understand where the problem is.

Some time ago you posted a video on YT of a DCS tutorial in which the operator clicked on a target on the right DDI and this appeared on the left DDI where the ATFLIR was. The target was shifted to the left. Now in that case the operator could move the ATFLIR LOS to center the target and lock it (as happens in the first part of the GOFAST video), or slave it to L&S as he later did.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Do you not read what I say?

If the ATLFIR is slaved then the words L+S or SLAVE are boxed on the overlays as in a little box is shown around the words.

In Gimbal the words L+S and SLAVE are NOT boxed

Thus in the gimbal video the ATFLIR is not SLAVED

At no point in GO FAST or GIMBAL are they boxed
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
ATFLIR is a sensor. Like the RADAR.
ATFLIR is mostly a camera, a camera is a passive sensor, cameras do not have hard range limits any limit is entirely based on both strength of the light source and sensitivity of the camera.

RADAR is an active sensor it (in any specific implementation) has a hard limit to how much energy it can put out and have reflected back this it has a more hard range limit although this limit is somewhat different depending on the RADAR reflectivity of the subject. But I assume it's range is for "planes" as that is it's primary purpose.
 
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Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
Do you not read what I say?

If the ATLFIR is slaved then the words L+S or SLAVE are boxed on the overlays and in a little box is shown around the words.

In Gimbal the words L+S and SLAVE are NOT boxed

Thus in the gimbal video the ATFLIR is not SLAVED

At no point in GO FAST or GIMBAL are they boxed
Maybe I understood our difference. You declare that ATFLIR cannot be a target acquisition sensor. It must necessarily be slaved to some other sensor for tracking a target (i.e. generate a LOS).
Instead I affirm that the ATFLIR is a target acquisition sensor and can generate its own track where to point a weapon.
Is this correct or is my thinking about your reasoning incorrect?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Maybe I understood our difference. You declare that ATFLIR cannot be a target acquisition sensor. It must necessarily be slaved to some other sensor for tracking a target (i.e. generate a LOS).
Instead I affirm that the ATFLIR is a target acquisition sensor and can generate its own track where to point a weapon.
Is this correct or is my thinking about your reasoning incorrect?

Yes ATFLIR can acquire an angle track, by tracking a contrast area optically, this is known and accepted we see this in Gimbal and Go Fast

However there is a claim (Graves/Alpha Check etc) that the ATFLIR in GIMBAL was SLAVED to a RADAR track of that object.

This is not shown on the overlay.

This is what I want Graves et al to clarify.
 

Leonardo Cuellar

Active Member
However there is a claim (Graves/Alpha Check etc) that the ATFLIR in GIMBAL was SLAVED to a RADAR track of that object.
On this point I think we are both aligned which is not the case because SLAVE, L&S and BST are not boxed.
For the rest, thank you for your reply. I was afraid I was totally confused.
 

Domzh

Active Member
Yes ATFLIR can acquire an angle track, by tracking a contrast area optically, this is known and accepted we see this in Gimbal and Go Fast

However there is a claim (Graves/Alpha Check etc) that the ATFLIR in GIMBAL was SLAVED to a RADAR track of that object.

This is not shown on the overlay.

This is what I want Graves et al to clarify.

The ATFLIR also has laser spot tracking but no idea about its operational distance.
A device that locks on to the reflected energy from a laser-marked or designated target and defines the direction of the target relative to itself. Also called LST. (US DoD)

The AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) is a multi-sensor, electro-optical targeting podincorporating thermographic camera, low-light television camera, target laser rangefinder/laser designator, and laser spot tracker developed and manufactured by Raytheon.

source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/ASQ-228_ATFLIR


could it be that the ATFLIR tries to find the object based on the radar information but then tracks the object optically if it is too far away for a precise radar track?

There must be some latency / lag in creating the radar track. And when the ATFLIR adjusts to the updated radar information, it might be too late if the object is really far away.

On top of it the radar data might not be precise enough for microadjustments of the ATFLIRs mirrors.

Maybe it then switches to optical (contrast) tracking and loses its initial SLAVE? The contrast tracking is calculated internally which means almost zero latency / lag.

For example, if you look at a distant house through a straw, it is super easy to fall out of sight the moment you even move a bit. But if the house is right in front of you, its very easy to keep looking at it.

if true then maybe thats a missing mechanic in the computer game simulations (hence why it always show a boxed SLAVE).

do we know if there is a maximum distance for a pure SLAVE track?

to me this does sound plausible and maybe this is what Graves meant when he said the ATFLIR was in SLAVE

I hope i could explain what I mean,
English isnt my main language.

PS: Personally I believe a rocket is extremely unlikely based on the footage of rockets we have seen, the LOS and how certain Graves and some other pilots are that its not an exhaust. NEMESIS spoofed IR target makes way more sense, it really checks all the boxes without assuming the pilots misidentified it
 
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markus

Active Member
Some people who claim to be knowledgable about this have said that it was slaved to radar, or acquired, or whatever the language is. This is not my area. Can the DCS folks weigh in?
As others have said, L+S or SLAVE should be boxed in that situation, according to DCS and manuals. It could be that information is inaccurate but it sounds a tad strange IMO. On the other hand, I read somewhere that operators may acquire the target initially using the radar and then switch completely to the optical track which is smoother, in which case nothing would be boxed. In that case, technically it's not "slaved" either, but maybe pilots use language a little sloppily? I don't know, would be nice for these guys to explain this point a little better, especially in the context of one of the pilots in the video seemingly not believing that the target was in fact the L&S.
I believe that in GoFast, the range number was a passive calculation based on trigonometry. IIRC, one pilot said that, but I don't remember who (not Lehto).
It was Mover (C.W. Lemoine).

Trigonometry would work for ground targets but it's hard to see how it could work for air targets. Using certain assumptions (e.g. target moving in a straight line) it'd be possible to automate the kind of analysis that you did in Blender, except using raw numbers instead of the rounded ones we've had to use/guesstimates from clouds. At any rate, the number pops up pretty much immediately in Gofast, but building such an estimate would require time to acquire samples as the F-18 maneuvers. Since there's ample such information in Gimbal and no range is indicated, I suspect this method isn't used. It seems more likely that the range in Gofast comes from radar.
 
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