F-16 Pilot- Chris Lehto analyses Gimbal footage

FatPhil

Active Member

A totally OT aside, but I've seen this a couple of times and it's started to niggle a little, being a lover of all thing Finno-ugric. His name's "Lehto". Like many Finnish surnames it's toponymic, meaning "grove", etmologically related to other leafy words. Being a phonetic language, proper Finnish pronunciation would include sounding the 'h', his fairly typical Americanised pronunciation has about as much 'h' as 'eh?', which does hint at there being something before the 't'. I'm terrible with most US accents, I have no idea whether this is his background or not, but the largest Finnish migrant populations are in MI and MN. Aside over. Trivia delivered. Have a good one!
 

neo_seoul

New Member
It's important because a jet only a few miles away should have been easier to detect with radar, and harder for its wings etc. to be hidden by straight-down-the-tailpipe glare.

But this raises another question: if it was that close and (as Sehto claims) the F-18 was closing on it, why does the video conveniently end before contact is lost? Also, why do the aircrew seem uninterested in actually intercepting it? Why does the WSO dismiss the UAP as a "drone, bro" when, according to Lt. Graves, the pilots had all been so baffled and concerned about all the objects they had been seeing? And why does the pilot casually continue his turn, to 6 degrees past the bogey (and still turning) when the video ends?
To be honest all I can hear is "that's not a fu***g drone bro". The sentence is too long to be affirmative and he clearly says "Fu***g". Am I the only one who hears that?
Also, they later wonder "what is that?" so IMHO dismissing it as a drone doesn't line up with the rest of the conversation.
 

BrianHoltz

New Member
The sentence is too long to be affirmative and he clearly says "Fu***g". Am I the only one who hears that?
Also, they later wonder "what is that?" so IMHO dismissing it as a drone doesn't line up with the rest of the conversation.
With my ears trained on California accents over the last 30 years, I hear the WSO say: "X, this is a fuckin' done, bro" where X is a mumbled exclamatory either "dude" or "yeah". His tone is very dismissive, but changes markedly when the pilot tells him to look at a "whole fleet" of other objects on the Situational Awareness display. The WSO then non-dismissively exclaims "My gosh." But I don't understand the significance of the next exchange:

Pilot: That's not L&S is it?
WSO: That IS L&S, dude.
Pilot: Well the FLIR's looking...
WSO: Look at this thing!

L&S is launch & steer, the F-18's targeting systems' focus of attention. Could someone explain the implications in this scenario of "is L&S" being true vs false? And why would they a) initially disagree on L&S status, and b) need to ask each other about it? And why would the pilot respond to the disagreement by making a comment about the FLIR?

The video remains quite unremarkable. It's only interesting because of its connection to a few eyewitness accounts of retired personnel. We only have hearsay and surmises about what kind of official investigation was done, and what its findings might have been. I'm skeptical that the forthcoming report will provide sensor data that rules out any possible explanation involving some combination of balloons/drones/distant jet.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
The video remains quite unremarkable. It's only interesting because of its connection to a few eyewitness accounts of retired personnel. We only have hearsay and surmises about what kind of official investigation was done, and what its findings might have been. I'm skeptical that the forthcoming report will provide sensor data that rules out any possible explanation involving some combination of balloons/drones/distant jet.
The weird thing about all these unremarkable videos is that pilots like Chris Lehto and Chad Underwood find them extraordinary. Did they really never encounter a scenario like Gimbal, Go Fast, or FLIR1?
 

markus

Member
First off, thanks for your valuable input. Also, yes, I don't think Letho is arguing very consistently in these videos, so it's all a bit of a mess.

Concerning coordinated vs. uncoordinated turns, I did read a comment by an F/A-18 pilot on reddit at some point where he mentioned that some of his colleagues like to use lots of rudder and an uncoordinated turn when using the targeting pod. But I can't find it right now. In any case, this is probably something that the pilots themselves will have to answer.
Interesting. If that's the case, then trying to estimate this stuff with sufficient precision to get a useful estimate of the distance to the intersection point may be hopeless -- you'd probably need the G factor, which would come from a HUD recording, but at that point you might as well just use the indicated headings directly.
Another idea would be to track the cloud and cloud parallax by employing some kind of cloud-size model. That could also give us an additional scalable data point for the true angles.
I've seen some people do something like that assuming that the clouds are far away. It might be a fair assumption, if they weren't you'd be able to detect some parallax between the clouds on the top and the ones on the bottom that are nearer the camera, and there seems to be little of that. This assumption results in an underestimate of the turn rate though, which is not ideal.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I hear that is a fucking drone
With my ears trained on California accents over the last 30 years, I hear the WSO say: "X, this is a fuckin' done, bro" where X is a mumbled exclamatory either "dude" or "yeah". His tone is very dismissive, but changes markedly when the pilot tells him to look at a "whole fleet" of other objects on the Situational Awareness display. The WSO then non-dismissively exclaims "My gosh." But I don't understand the significance of the next exchange:

Pilot: That's not L&S is it?
WSO: That IS L&S, dude.
Pilot: Well the FLIR's looking...
WSO: Look at this thing!

L&S is launch & steer, the F-18's targeting systems' focus of attention. Could someone explain the implications in this scenario of "is L&S" being true vs false? And why would they a) initially disagree on L&S status, and b) need to ask each other about it? And why would the pilot respond to the disagreement by making a comment about the FLIR?

The video remains quite unremarkable. It's only interesting because of its connection to a few eyewitness accounts of retired personnel. We only have hearsay and surmises about what kind of official investigation was done, and what its findings might have been. I'm skeptical that the forthcoming report will provide sensor data that rules out any possible explanation involving some combination of balloons/drones/distant jet.

It seems they have an L+S track designated, the FLIR is showing something on both of their MFD screens, the pilot is asking the WSO "that's not L+S?" i.e. is the FLIR pointing at the track they have set as L+S. He says that is L+S dude. I presume the WSO is saying the thing on ATLFLIR is the L+S.

Now it gets interesting the pilot says "the FLIR is looking..." then gets interrupted.

So if they have a RADAR track that is L+S, the FLIR is not slaved to it (L+S is unboxed) doesn't mean the FLIR is not autotracking the same object that is the L+S but it seems odd if they have RADAR track then why not SLAVE? Non of the 3 videos show direct slaving of the ATLFLIR to a RADAR track.

It could also be they only have the angle track from ATFLIR being fed to the MSI as the L+S track. However a "fleet of them on the SA" seems to indicate RADAR tracks of something because ATFLIR can only be on one thing.

Or maybe the WSO was wrong and the pilot was about to say well the L+S is over there and the FLIR is pointing in the wrong direction, before he gets cut off and the video ends.

As I've learned more about the systems on the planes the one thing that really sticks out is that to make any sense of the videos you really, really need the recording of the other MFD with the RADAR on it.
 

markus

Member
L&S is launch & steer, the F-18's targeting systems' focus of attention. Could someone explain the implications in this scenario of "is L&S" being true vs false? And why would they a) initially disagree on L&S status, and b) need to ask each other about it? And why would the pilot respond to the disagreement by making a comment about the FLIR?
From the various documents that have been collected (e.g. this sim manual), it looks like if the ATFLIR is slaved to the L&S target, the L+S indicator becomes boxed.

The L+S indicator is _not_ boxed in the gimbal video, which could be what the pilot was about to say with "Well the FLIR's looking..." when he was cut off. The L&S target was presumably acquired with the radar. This could be quite salient since if the WSO was mistaken about the ATFLIR being in L&S mode, what we see in the video could be a different object than the one on their radar screens. If the radar targets were a result of electronic warfare, there might not have been an object there at all, which could help explain why the sighting (presumably) remained unexplained: the pilots would've gotten to where they expected to find the object and found nothing, but had the FLIR footage to 'prove' something had been there. This is of course completely speculative; some more context before and after the excerpt we got to see would be very helpful here -- knowing how the target got acquired in the first place would be especially useful.

A further question: if we're looking at the L&S target, why don't we see a range, as we do in the gofast video?
 

neo_seoul

New Member
With my ears trained on California accents over the last 30 years, I hear the WSO say: "X, this is a fuckin' done, bro" where X is a mumbled exclamatory either "dude" or "yeah". His tone is very dismissive, but changes markedly when the pilot tells him to look at a "whole fleet" of other objects on the Situational Awareness display. The WSO then non-dismissively exclaims "My gosh." But I don't understand the significance of the next exchange:

Pilot: That's not L&S is it?
WSO: That IS L&S, dude.
Pilot: Well the FLIR's looking...
WSO: Look at this thing!

L&S is launch & steer, the F-18's targeting systems' focus of attention. Could someone explain the implications in this scenario of "is L&S" being true vs false? And why would they a) initially disagree on L&S status, and b) need to ask each other about it? And why would the pilot respond to the disagreement by making a comment about the FLIR?

The video remains quite unremarkable. It's only interesting because of its connection to a few eyewitness accounts of retired personnel. We only have hearsay and surmises about what kind of official investigation was done, and what its findings might have been. I'm skeptical that the forthcoming report will provide sensor data that rules out any possible explanation involving some combination of balloons/drones/distant jet.
I've listened to it again at different speeds, and I stand corrected, it sounds more like one of the following:
(a) "it is a f***ng drone bro"
(b)"it isn't a f***ng drone bro"
(c) "it ain't a f***ng drone bro" (less likely)

3 reasons push me to lean towards B:
1) the length of that word within the sentence (option A would sound/flow very unnatural)
2) when he later says "that IS L&S dude", in the way he says "IS", the ending sound is quite discernably different from the previous sentence, which sounds more like he says "isn't" and sort of chewing the ending sound.
3) C is less likely because I think we can distinctively hear the "I" and "S" being pronounced.

I am more and more convinced of this interpretation, but admittedly I am not a native speaker, so...

Regarding the significance of L&S slaved mode, my understanding is that this is the mode used to designate a target and possibly launch a missile at it, which means that there will be guidance provided to "steer" the aircraft to maintain radar and FLIR lock on the target to allow the missile to hit. The implication of ATFLIR to be L&S slaved to that target, is that they had radar lock on the target and were looking at this particular target both on the radar and ATFLIR.
(please correct me if my understanding is wrong)

Speculation: they might be impressed by what they see on the radar, and hence might not be sure that this is indeed what the ATFLIR is also tracking.

EDIT: nevermind, looking at markus's post above and at the manuals again, my interpretation above of the L&S mode significance is likely wrong. It's possible the WSO got confused, unless that ATFLIR somehow works differently?


EDIT2: Sorry, after more thought, I came to a different conclusion, also looking at this source:
https://members.tripod.com/56th_fightergroup/training.htm#flir symbols
My hypothesis is that the ATFLIR pod is currently not "L&S Slaved", hence why the "L+S" symbol is not boxed, and hence why the question by the pilot to the WSO. Since it's neither in L+S nor BST Slave mode, it must be on "Autotrack" - which is later confirmed, btw - which means the pod is tracking the object.
However, my hypothesis is that, even if the the pod is not "Slaved" to the L&S target, the target they are autotracking is indeed the L&S target, and that's exactly what the WSO points out when he says "that IS on L&S dude". There's nothing preventing you to autotrack the same target that the radar has designated as L&S, even if not slaving the FLIR pod.
To answer @markus question, I none of the manuals/sources I found (below) about the A/A ATFLIR mode there seems to be any indication of target range (RNG), so that might be the reason. The Gofast video had the ATFLIR in A/G (Air to ground) mode, which does have target RNG.


ATFLIR manuals/sources:
https://forums.vrsimulations.com/su...ard_Looking_Infrared_(FLIR)#L.26S_Slaved_Mode
https://members.tripod.com/56th_fightergroup/training.htm#target flir
https://forums.vrsimulations.com/support/index.php/Air-To-Air_Systems
https://info.publicintelligence.net/F18-EF-000.pdf
https://www.cnatra.navy.mil/local/docs/pat-pubs/P-820.pdf
https://forums.vrsimulations.com/support/index.php/A/G_Advanced_Targeting_FLIR_(ATFLIR)
 
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neo_seoul

New Member
The glare rotates with the camera and with artifacts above the target.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ny...ncounter-with-unknown-object.9333/post-250717
This GIF is extremely interesting, it highlights at least one very obvious thing, IMHO: there is a "layer" of "cloudiness" to the display which rotates slightly but independently of the object. That may be either the outer pod lens or some other optical layer.
I also think I see some other "layer" of much more faint "cloudiness" rotating in sync with the object, but, wouldn't some light artifact be produced even if what we are looking at was a real object, given that it clearly has a relatively strong/bright IR heat signature (relative to the background) and thus could produce some glare even whilst still being a real object?

Since black is the peak of the dynamic range scale, and that some level of glaring could appear in both cases, whether the source was smaller in size and just producing a lot of heat, or exactly the size and shape that we see in the video, there's no way of distinguishing, they are both equally viable explanations.
Also, the contours are very clear and the transition between black and grey is very steep, unlike a typical strong glare from a smaller source such as say a single or pair of engines, which would have a more gradual transition and wider but more "fuzzy" glare.
Of course this could be an artifact of the unsharp mask, but I personally find it unlikely, given the rest of the picture.
 

jplaza

New Member
So why does Chris say its only used for ground target distance gauging but not air to air? Or this CW Lemmoine guy who says the ATFLIR does trigonometry to estimate the distance?

The atflir either uses radar data or laser for A/A range according to its manual.

Im even more confused now, either the manual or the knowledge of these fighter pilots is garbage.. (third option, i suck at interpreting technical manuals)
I guess it's worth pointing out that pilots are only the end users of technology, not experts in the technology. They may be taught how to use it, what buttons to push, but not how it works, where the numbers come from, what the tracking algorithm does, or how the image is stabilized and shown in the right orientation.
 

folly4

Member
I guess it's worth pointing out that pilots are only the end users of technology, not experts in the technology. They may be taught how to use it, what buttons to push, but not how it works, where the numbers come from, what the tracking algorithm does, or how the image is stabilized and shown in the right orientation.

This is a great point. Professional video gamers might know nothing about the code of the games they play. Great hitters don't necessarily know how baseball bats are made.
 
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metabuster

New Member
This is a great point. Professional video gamers might know nothing about the code of the games they play. Great hitters don't necessarily know how baseball bats are made.
Hi, I am a former professional gamer, now an engineer (not to appeal to authority too hard or anything). I thought this logic was a bit myopic and could be amended. Pro gamers at least (pretty sure I can easily provide evidence of academic rigors of pilots, all I have ever heard is that it is a strongly filtered profession, unlike driving a vehicle or operating a fry machine), are likely to know very much about the code of a game or the workings of their vehicle. Yes, primarily through how it manifests during interaction but also details of inner workings or review of code itself, learned in training/research and seeking any advantage to best another user of the same. In order to rise above another person at something, a force multiplier is often helpful, and the more the better. This is very much how mankind itself has done to win wars, when the playing field is level knowledge is a powerful advantage. This can extend to exploring the code itself and finer technical substance of just about anything. Learning is a force multiplier. A fry cook doesn't know how their watch is made because they might never need to know. Technical knowledge and code related behaviors are the bread and butter of pro gamers and I would be shocked to learn pilots didn't know volumes about their craft. If it might help a hitter to know how and of what his bat his made then to succeed he is likely to know or soon learn it. I'll be happy to comment more technical things in the future, but please let's not act like there is not an enormous barrier which often includes learning these innards to excel over the "lay user." I don't think we can claim a predominant or any way common ignorance by pilots about technical specifics of their craft. In fact pilots and pro gamers are incentivized to learn the code and the physics and the inner workings of instruments by the very simple and logical principle that it is an advantage to do so.
 
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metabuster

New Member
To a military or game minded person, it is obvious that advantage over millions of others on a level playing field competing for the same resource/spot will necessitate learning beyond the level of a simple end user. My comparison would be Mick West himself. He's at the forefront of debunking these videos, along with everyone else here, because he's digging in and finding that subsurface knowledge and using it. There's tons of other people trying this but without knowledge they find no purchase. Knowledge is Mick West's force multiplier. However, if we don't stick to facts and evidence, I think we are just as prone as anyone to make a reaching statement so as to suggest a jet pilot is a simple end user. The more a jet pilot knows the more he is "one with the craft." The same for pro gamers. A jet pilot who is simply an end user is probably a dead jet pilot in a dogfight with someone who knows every technical detail to exploit, and a pro gamer with only surface knowledge has no advantage at all and so is hardly pro.

I really hope I don't have to stop coming around here because some moderator thinks it isn't sound to point out game theory :) by all means, continue to imagine a jet pilot as an end user like someone who just plopped into their new Honda Civic, but I don't think it advances the discussion.
 
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Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
I guess it's worth pointing out that pilots are only the end users of technology, not experts in the technology. They may be taught how to use it, what buttons to push, but not how it works, where the numbers come from, what the tracking algorithm does, or how the image is stabilized and shown in the right orientation.
Yes it is.
 

Domzh

Active Member
I guess it's worth pointing out that pilots are only the end users of technology, not experts in the technology. They may be taught how to use it, what buttons to push, but not how it works, where the numbers come from, what the tracking algorithm does, or how the image is stabilized and shown in the right orientation.
ok so why have they been taught that the A/A range is not reliable?
 

metabuster

New Member
Yes it is.
Alright, I love the data which turns up in these threads but it's very telling how prominent this view is and that mods have not approved my posts. No, pilots are not simple end users. The fact you hold this perspective reeks of a disinterest in the subject matter and a desire to compartmentalize everything into the box of what makes sense to you. I will take lack of mod approval that logic and good sense is notably absent from this space.
 

markus

Member
However, my hypothesis is that, even if the the pod is not "Slaved" to the L&S target, the target they are autotracking is indeed the L&S target, and that's exactly what the WSO points out when he says "that IS on L&S dude". There's nothing preventing you to autotrack the same target that the radar has designated as L&S, even if not slaving the FLIR pod.
Right, so in that case the operator might accidentally be tracking something else, in case there's something in the distance for the pod to lock onto.
To answer @markus question, I none of the manuals/sources I found (below) about the A/A ATFLIR mode there seems to be any indication of target range (RNG), so that might be the reason. The Gofast video had the ATFLIR in A/G (Air to ground) mode, which does have target RNG.
I don't think it's in A/G mode in the gofast video. The A/G symbology is quite different (for example, it doesn't have the L+S, SLAVE, and BST indicators on the right).
 

folly4

Member
Hi, I am a former professional gamer, now an engineer (not to appeal to authority too hard or anything). I thought this logic was a bit myopic and could be amended. Pro gamers at least (pretty sure I can easily provide evidence of academic rigors of pilots, all I have ever heard is that it is a strongly filtered profession, unlike driving a vehicle or operating a fry machine), are likely to know very much about the code of a game or the workings of their vehicle. Yes, primarily through how it manifests during interaction but also details of inner workings or review of code itself, learned in training/research and seeking any advantage to best another user of the same. In order to rise above another person at something, a force multiplier is often helpful, and the more the better. This is very much how mankind itself has done to win wars, when the playing field is level knowledge is a powerful advantage. This can extend to exploring the code itself and finer technical substance of just about anything. Learning is a force multiplier. A fry cook doesn't know how their watch is made because they might never need to know. Technical knowledge and code related behaviors are the bread and butter of pro gamers and I would be shocked to learn pilots didn't know volumes about their craft. If it might help a hitter to know how and of what his bat his made then to succeed he is likely to know or soon learn it. I'll be happy to comment more technical things in the future, but please let's not act like there is not an enormous barrier which often includes learning these innards to excel over the "lay user." I don't think we can claim a predominant or any way common ignorance by pilots about technical specifics of their craft. In fact pilots and pro gamers are incentivized to learn the code and the physics and the inner workings of instruments by the very simple and logical principle that it is an advantage to do so.
I think you're overthinking this and missing the point.

Knowledge and skill can very specialized. And being a fighter pilot or major league hitter is a very unique skillset. Specifically, in the case of sports, it's become more specialized than ever before.

It seems self-evident that being good at any highly-skilled pursuit can involve diving into the minutiae of understanding how and why mechanisms work the way they do. Sure. Agreed. But there is a risk of attributing valuable resources to studying things that are mere adjacencies to their pursuit. It's sub-optimal for a major league hitter to fully understand the physical characteristics of various wood species and finishes. He's better off taking more batting practice in the cage and spending more time in the gym.

If you're smart, you'll have specialized experts distilling the keys to these different adjacencies into bite-sized abstracts—You tell the bat expert what you like, and he finds you the best bat based on his knowledge. Or you even have a team of experts working with each other to provide you, the guy who is good at hitting a baseball, with the relevant actionable item—the video swing analysis team sits down with the hitting coaches, who consults with the kinesthesiologist, who works with the strength and conditioning coach & dietician...to build a program that you simply follow.
 

jplaza

New Member
ok so why have they been taught that the A/A range is not reliable?
Nice question for the pilots. Who taught them that and why. And then double check with the instructors, and triple check with the engineers who designed it and wrote the manual.

All I can say is that I could accept being presented wrong data in (known) exceptional circumstances, but not as a normal basis. Better not have the data at all, than having unreliable data.
 

neo_seoul

New Member
Right, so in that case the operator might accidentally be tracking something else, in case there's something in the distance for the pod to lock onto.

I don't think it's in A/G mode in the gofast video. The A/G symbology is quite different (for example, it doesn't have the L+S, SLAVE, and BST indicators on the right).
My bad about the A/G mode!

I thought the exchange between pilot and WSO on it being L+S was precisely to clarify that, so your hypothesis is that the WSO made a mistake and he thought the FLIR was tracking the L&S target when in fact he was locking on something else?
 

abyssal dission

New Member
Alright, I love the data which turns up in these threads but it's very telling how prominent this view is and that mods have not approved my posts. No, pilots are not simple end users. The fact you hold this perspective reeks of a disinterest in the subject matter and a desire to compartmentalize everything into the box of what makes sense to you. I will take lack of mod approval that logic and good sense is notably absent from this space.
Yeah, I need to agree with this. This person's response on almost everything related to this topic wreaks of some sort of deep seated anger or annoyance. In my experience that tends to come from individuals that aren't happy at the fact that sometimes another person with direct experience of the subject does "just know more than you" about it, because frankly they do. I'm hesitant, at the least, to seriously consider the input and opinion of these kinds of responses.
 

abyssal dission

New Member
Nice question for the pilots. Who taught them that and why. And then double check with the instructors, and triple check with the engineers who designed it and wrote the manual.

All I can say is that I could accept being presented wrong data in (known) exceptional circumstances, but not as a normal basis. Better not have the data at all, than having unreliable data.
That's just like, your opinion man. Some people enjoy having a rough estimate rather than nothing at all. Or perhaps there is a rough estimate displayed because the system has the capability of using a laser but when it doesn't they didn't think to take away the RNG display. It could be that whoever was responsible for coordinating the specific technologies on these jets made the requirement that an RNG must be displayed at all times for some reason, so the manufacturer just complied. My point is there is plenty of room for this to have a good explanation, it doesn't have to make sense to you or me. At the end of the day the manufacturer should be the one to provide the answer on this.
 

BrianHoltz

New Member
they do mention the object is flying into the wind ("120 knots from the west")
According to Lt. Graves on Unidentified, the Gimbal IR object was different from "the whole fleet" of objects that in the video are said to be going against the wind:
Lt Graves says the Gimbal video is just part of a longer, higher resolution video he was shown on the ship. It included several smaller craft, the kind he was more familiar with. "They were essentially flying themselves in a formation. And then behind those was the object you see here. So there wasn't a whole fleet of these, there was just all these little guys. And there's the one object which we had never seen before, which was significantly larger."
I'm very curious whether this month's UAPTF report will include this higher-res video, and/or any sensor data backing up Graves' account.

If even 10% of the reported ~120 incidents in the upcoming report have accompanying video, then Metabunk is going to be very busy. However, I'm skeptical we'll get better videos -- despite claims that the leaked Navy videos are not at all the most explosive ones. (Why wouldn't they leak their best videos?)
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
According to Lt. Graves on Unidentified, the Gimbal IR object was different from "the whole fleet" of objects that in the video are said to be going against the wind:

I'm very curious whether this month's UAPTF report will include this higher-res video, and/or any sensor data backing up Graves' account.

If even 10% of the reported ~120 incidents in the upcoming report have accompanying video, then Metabunk is going to be very busy. However, I'm skeptical we'll get better videos -- despite claims that the leaked Navy videos are not at all the most explosive ones. (Why wouldn't they leak their best videos?)


Yeah, it will be very interesting if they include more video's and pics of other cases in the report. It certainly will be busy here

As for the longer Gimbal video, yeah, and what does the TV mode footage reveal I wonder? Hmmmmmmm

As for the UAPTF report and what it will show, it depends on who is in the UAPTF and who it uses as consultants, which to me, is the million dollar question. Let's just say certain others involved with previous incarnations of the task force, have very spotty histories involving decades of suspect science
 

Agent K

Senior Member
I guess it's worth pointing out that pilots are only the end users of technology, not experts in the technology. They may be taught how to use it, what buttons to push, but not how it works, where the numbers come from, what the tracking algorithm does, or how the image is stabilized and shown in the right orientation.
Commander Fravor himself said
I can relate to that, but those of us who develop the tracking, stabilization, and image enhancement algorithms don't necessarily know how all the systems work together or what's ultimately displayed to the pilot.
 

LarryLobster

New Member
Hi, I am a former professional gamer, now an engineer (not to appeal to authority too hard or anything). I thought this logic was a bit myopic and could be amended. Pro gamers at least (pretty sure I can easily provide evidence of academic rigors of pilots, all I have ever heard is that it is a strongly filtered profession, unlike driving a vehicle or operating a fry machine), are likely to know very much about the code of a game or the workings of their vehicle. Yes, primarily through

I'm a tier-2 fortnite pro with 1.3K in earnings; my best friend qualified for the fortnite solo world cup event back in 2019 (100 people out of 30,000,000 players qualified, to give perspective on how skilled he had to be). For the sake of not giving away my hometown I will not identify him by name (you'll have to take this on good faith).

I have not programmed anything since the poorly-coded Minecraft mods I made as a tween back in 2012. He knows absolutely nothing about software engineering - much less the code behind Fortnite. I am not a world class player, so you may excuse it as that, but he was one of the best players in the world in his day, and he knows literally nothing about programming.

No one I play with "know(s) very much about the code of (the) game" we spend hours grinding every day. This is anecdotal, but from my experience as a semi-pro and with actual, world class fortnite pros, "very much" is not a word I would use to describe our game-design knowledge.
 

markus

Member
My bad about the A/G mode!

I thought the exchange between pilot and WSO on it being L+S was precisely to clarify that, so your hypothesis is that the WSO made a mistake and he thought the FLIR was tracking the L&S target when in fact he was locking on something else?
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.
 

Robert Webb

New Member
Sorry if I missed this somewhere, but shouldn't we be able to exactly replicate the rotations of the gimbal over time, since we know all the angles? It would just require knowing the specs of the gimbal involved (which I don't). If the replication perfectly matched the video, then the IR glare theory must be right. The chances of an alien craft just happening to rotate in perfect sync with the plane's gimbal would be vanishingly small. On the other hand if it doesn't match, it would indicate that IR glare isn't sufficient to explain the rotation.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
I'm a tier-2 fortnite pro with 1.3K in earnings; my best friend qualified for the fortnite solo world cup event back in 2019 (100 people out of 30,000,000 players qualified, to give perspective on how skilled he had to be). For the sake of not giving away my hometown I will not identify him by name (you'll have to take this on good faith).

I have not programmed anything since the poorly-coded Minecraft mods I made as a tween back in 2012. He knows absolutely nothing about software engineering - much less the code behind Fortnite. I am not a world class player, so you may excuse it as that, but he was one of the best players in the world in his day, and he knows literally nothing about programming.

No one I play with "know(s) very much about the code of (the) game" we spend hours grinding every day. This is anecdotal, but from my experience as a semi-pro and with actual, world class fortnite pros, "very much" is not a word I would use to describe our game-design knowledge.
I would not expect the pilot or the WSO to know the details of how an unsharp mask sharpens the image or how the centroid tracker uses probability maps "to segment the target and find its centroid," but they have a better intuition for using these tools in practice, the same way that a Photoshop user doesn't have to know the math behind all the tools in order to use them creatively. But if you want to improve the tools or create new tools, you have to know how they work. On the other hand, the engineers who develop the tools may not know all the ways the users use them, so they can learn a lot from each other.
 
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Vizee

New Member
I would not expect the pilot or the WSO to know the details of how an unsharp mask sharpens the image or how the centroid tracker uses probability maps "to segment the target and find its centroid," but they have a better intuition for using these tools in practice, the same way that a Photoshop user doesn't have to know the math behind all the tools in order to use them creatively. But if you want to improve the tools or create new tools, you have to know how they work. On the other hand, the engineers who develop the tools may not know all the ways the users use them, so they can learn a lot from each other.
I think this whole discussion actually leads back to a very important question of why these videos were archived in the first place.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Hi, I am a former professional gamer, now an engineer (not to appeal to authority too hard or anything). I thought this logic was a bit myopic and could be amended. Pro gamers at least (pretty sure I can easily provide evidence of academic rigors of pilots, all I have ever heard is that it is a strongly filtered profession, unlike driving a vehicle or operating a fry machine), are likely to know very much about the code of a game or the workings of their vehicle.
As a former professional game programmer, I have to disagree. For start gamers don't have access to the code (unless we are talking 8-bit games). Even then, there's a HUGE difference in skill sets between a single professional gamers and a large team of programmers. I was lead programmer on many games where I did not have a deep understanding of every aspect of the code, or why it did what it did. When it did something unexpected, it would sometimes take me days of deep analysis to figure it out.

So I think it's a reasonable analogy. Pilots know something of how their plane and equipment works. They don't have a deep understanding of every system.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
I used to play the PC game Battlefield 2 to a decently high level (winning the "European Cup" of Battlefield 2). Most of the skill in being good at that game was essentially reaction speed, practise, full knowledge of the games built in systems and prediction of human behaviour as well as "meta" knowledge, not the actual code that made them work.

There were a few areas where a small understanding of some issues/quirks of the game engine were advantages, the big one being "hit box lag", the game had an issue where if a target was moving laterally to you aiming at or even leading your shot for where it appeared would mean your shot would miss, because the actual hit box that the game used for collisions was lagging behind the player model, this varied depending on your connection to the server. The best players knew about this and aimed appropriately. Thing is you didn't need to be a programmer to know this it was "discovered" then some programmers who also played worked out what was going on, but all you needed to know as a player was aim slightly behind the targets direction of travel, or for fast moving targets, learn to lead the hitbox rather than the character model.
 
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Agent K

Senior Member
I was lead programmer on many games where I did not have a deep understanding of every aspect of the code, or why it did what it did. When it did something unexpected, it would sometimes take me days of deep analysis to figure it out.
Likewise, the targeting pod team has specialists on the tracker, the servo, algorithms, software, processor, user interface, sensor, laser, etc. The Lead Systems Engineer and the Chief Engineer have to understand everything but not deeply, and the Chief Engineer talks to the customer and ensures that the system meets requirements.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
It just occurred to me that I found this link when I was searching for how passive ranging might occur from the ATFLIR only

Might some of it's theory be applied to Gimbal?

Passive Ranging Using a Single Maneuvering Sensor​

View MATLAB Command


This example illustrates how to track targets using passive angle-only measurements from a single sensor. Passive angle-only measurements contain azimuth and elevation of a target with respect to the sensor. The absence of range measurements makes the problem challenging as the targets to be tracked are fully observable only under certain conditions.

In this example, you learn about some possible solutions to this problem by using a passive infrared sensor mounted on a maneuvering platform.



https://www.mathworks.com/help/fusion/ug/passive-ranging-using-a-single-maneuvering-sensor.html

I'm not a mathematician, though so I might be totally off.
 

metabuster

New Member
As a former professional game programmer, I have to disagree. For start gamers don't have access to the code (unless we are talking 8-bit games). Even then, there's a HUGE difference in skill sets between a single professional gamers and a large team of programmers. I was lead programmer on many games where I did not have a deep understanding of every aspect of the code, or why it did what it did. When it did something unexpected, it would sometimes take me days of deep analysis to figure it out.

So I think it's a reasonable analogy. Pilots know something of how their plane and equipment works. They don't have a deep understanding of every system.

As a former professional gamer programmer, I went on to code a world top 100 website, so I don't speak solely from one wellspring. Actually a lot of engines are open source which have lineages that extend from decades ago into hugely popular games today. Also, a lot of code is "borrowed" or does extremely similar things, especially with netcode where there are mitigations for latency that require only basic but still depthful understanding of how a bullet fired on a client system can be registered to have hit at t time (and x, y, z coords) by a server which only receives these packets d time later at which time the target has reached x2, y2, and z2. Many many games use the same technique for this "netcode" even if the source is closed. A different point - it may not be important for a fortnite pro gamer to know that it's impossible to double circle strafe jump at less than 125fps in quake 3 cpma, but these per frame physics calculations exist and impact movement in Apex Legends today because it's made on Source engine which has its lineage to the quake 2 engine. If we strictly want to talk fortnite, we can get into things about the Unreal engine that I would really doubt a high level player wouldn't know, but I don't play Fornite. I actually played with many folks who either became programmers after gaming or during (even contributing code to the games we played). There is considerable overlap. I think the point of my argument - that it is an advantage for a jet pilot to intimately know physics and his instruments, and an advantage for the military to ensure they are self sufficient and aware of technical details (which may become an issue absent any help or guidebook) - got lost in some sabre rattling and still remains true. A pilot is not an end user in the same way as someone sitting at a computer would be. It's in military interests that they be expert operators. Yes, they may receive distilled information about certain systems, I don't doubt that. I think "End user" is still a dishonest turn of phrase.
 

markus

Member
It just occurred to me that I found this link when I was searching for how passive ranging might occur from the ATFLIR only

Might some of it's theory be applied to Gimbal?



https://www.mathworks.com/help/fusion/ug/passive-ranging-using-a-single-maneuvering-sensor.html

I'm not a mathematician, though so I might be totally off.
The theoretical assumptions seem plausible to me, and they would apply here provided we're happy to assume the object is flying straight and level at constant speed. However, it only works with a fairly accurate estimate of the observer's state of motion. I'm not yet convinced we have that; the DCS demonstration is interesting but the bank angle doesn't always match the gimbal video for instance. It could be Digital Wings was correct and the turn was slightly uncoordinated, in which case it would be difficult to pin down where exactly the F-18 was. The calculation is quite sensitive because all lines of bearing are pretty much 60 degrees from the vertical; change it a few degrees to either side, for whatever reason, and the estimate changes dramatically. The vanilla calculation I did in #215 is not consistent with a uniformly moving target at any plausible distance, the DCS simulation is. Tomorrow I'll try plugging in Mick's bank angle numbers as opposed to the ones from the video and see where that gets us.
 
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