F-16 Pilot Chris Lehto's Interpretation of the GoFast footage [Focus, Parallax, Inaccurate Range]

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Yeah there's a master switch that sets the all of the systems on the plane to air to ground or air to air (bombing versus dog fighting in really basic terms)

When you switch this mode it sets loads of the systems to display different data based on what is most valuable to know for each scenario. It also can change modes of the sensors

The issue with saying they are in A/G mode is that the ATFLIR MFD does not look like any of the A/G modes in any of the manuals and looks identical to the other Navy ATFLIR videos where they are said to be tracking air targets.

Most notably the L+S, SLAVE, BST options which are specific to A/A mode.
 

Daniel F

Member
Yeah there's a master switch that sets the all of the systems on the plane to air to ground or air to air (bombing versus dog fighting in really basic terms)

When you switch this mode it sets loads of the systems to display different data based on what is most valuable to know for each scenario. It also can change modes of the sensors

The issue with saying they are in A/G mode is that the ATFLIR MFD does not look like any of the A/G modes in any of the manuals and looks identical to the other Navy ATFLIR videos where they are said to be tracking air targets.

Most notably the L+S, SLAVE, BST options which are specific to A/A mode.
Ok thanks. Apologies, I’m way behind on this on screen data. It’s good to have someone like yourself here who can decipher this! Does his statement about being in A/G mode also tally with his adamance that the range is wrong? The range is ‘guessed’ by pod-in correlation to the type of mode. So if it was in A/A mode it may have ‘guessed’ a different, further out figure ?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Not really, the laser has two functions mostly you point it at a point in the ground and a bomb follows it to that point, it can also range this seems to be a range to the point on the ground directly ahead of the ATFLIR, the laser is never talked about in the A/A modes.

The laser is on the same LOS of the camera which is tracking the object, the pointing of the laser would have be so accurate to consistently bounce off the the object at such a great range so I can't see how it can be providing a range. And if it were missing the target the range shown would be to the ocean which is basically double the range it shows.

Also the range shown smoothly changes as the jet moves towards and banks and the figures never vary from being consistent with an object maintaing a steady altitude and speed.

My thought is the range comes from RADAR but the ATFLIR is only set to show range on its overlay as it should have elevation/speed etc if there is RADAR track.
 

Robert Webb

New Member
Here's another video with a pilot's take on the recent UFO videos. This guy IS an F/A-18 pilot, and doesn't seem particularly impressed by the videos. He may be unaware of Mick's videos (at least he doesn't mention them). @Mick West, might be a good person to get in contact with? I did comment on his video, with a link to Mick's Go Fast video, but no reply.
 

Daniel F

Member
I don't think in A/A mode there is any other system that can provide a range other than the RADAR. He acknowledges the LTD/R doesn't fire.

Link 16 seems to be the shared track network, ie a track from another RADAR (ship/plane etc) being broadcast to the jet.

The range must come from somewhere and that somewhere can only be RADAR, remember the RADAR is on 1 MFD and the ATLFIR is on the other, perhaps there are modes/setups/configs where you choose what data from the RADAR is overlaid on the ATLFIR MFD and you can choose only range and V/C etc etc.

The pilot just flies forward with a slight bank.

It's unclear what he means by "I initially tried graphing the engagement using the ranges on the screen and it doesn't work.", graphing it based on the numbers is what we did here years ago and it makes perfect sense for a slow moving object at 13,000 feet and a few degrees to the left of the jet.
Again, excuse my stupidity, just trying to wrap my head around this. The claim in this video seems to be that
- they were sent to this location by other radar ( spy1 or whatever that would be ) same as Fravor was sent to some coordinates.
- the WSO doesn’t see it on their inferior radar
- they spot the target with eyes
- wso chases target with pod; creating a lock

is this lock with an IR passive motion sensor on pod ?
Is this then what predicts the apparently false range ?
the range and other numbers appear the moment they get the lock.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Chris does make a mess of his explanation of focus but he is correct that the sharpness of the ocean reduces once the ATFLIR locks onto the object. Which would suggest that the ATFLIR is not at maximum focal length for the duration of the video as some are suggesting.
I'm really not sure how this helps his case at all. If it was down by the ocean there would be no change in focus from 10 miles to 9.5 miles
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's another video with a pilot's take on the recent UFO videos. This guy IS an F/A-18 pilot, and doesn't seem particularly impressed by the videos. He may be unaware of Mick's videos (at least he doesn't mention them). @Mick West, might be a good person to get in contact with? I did comment on his video, with a link to Mick's Go Fast video, but no reply.
I've tried contacting Lemoine on May 22, 2021, via Twitter DM, but no response. It's entirely possible he never saw it though.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
We know nothing about the provenance of Go Fast, there is no anecdote or report we do know it is from the same plane, crew and flight as Gimbal because the mission specific PRF code is the same.

It could be they are flying along and get a track on a weather balloon's radar reflector from the either their own RADAR or from system link (shared RADAR tracks) or they were sent there because of a track, if so that certainly indicates there was a track somewhere.

Even though they have a RADAR track the WSO tries their skills out with slewing and autotrack capture.

When the autotrack is captured, the system is aware that the LOS of the ATFLIR is the same as the radar track and shows the range from the RADAR, this is the bit we can't really find anything hard on though.

If you listen to the radio chatter the WSO seems excited about the auto track capture, the pilot asks a question that's really hard to understand and he says nah its the auto track, this could indicate there was another option for the capture like slave etc.

The generally jovial excitement in the voices suggests not a critical situation perhaps testing out skills with the manual operation of the equipment.
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
@Mick West I've seen on your twitter a few times people going on about how you haven't talked to a pilot, like you can just call them up out of some directory and get them to discuss how possibly somewhat classified systems work.

However you could just put up a tweet "Any pilots/WSO's who want to chat about Go Fast drop me a DM" just to cover it off.
 

Domzh

Active Member
@Mick West I've seen on your twitter a few times people going on about how you haven't talked to a pilot, like you can just call them up out of some directory and get them to discuss how possibly somewhat classified systems work.

However you could just put up a tweet "Any pilots/WSO's who want to chat about Go Fast drop me a DM" just to cover it off.
specify FA18 pilots. Someone holding a PPL-A or flew F4 Phantoms wouldnt help.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
Chris does make a mess of his explanation of focus but he is correct that the sharpness of the ocean reduces once the ATFLIR locks onto the object. Which would suggest that the ATFLIR is not at maximum focal length for the duration of the video as some are suggesting.

Would be interested to see this addressed in your rebuttal @Mick West.

Isn't that (the reduced sharpness of the ocean) just because after the pod starts tracking the object, the ocean is moving faster in the background, so there is motion blur?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Isn't that (the reduced sharpness of the ocean) just because after the pod starts tracking the object, the ocean is moving faster in the background, so there is motion blur?
Probably, I don't really see any great evidence that the focus changes. It's possible it does change slightly, but it's not like anything is really sharply defined at any point.

The focus level BEFORE the lock (and presumed focus change) is identical to the focus level AFTER, if we look at frames where the camera is moving.

Five seconds in, pre-lock
2021-06-06_11-06-02.jpg

Lock occurs at around 12 seconds in.

20 seconds in. Post lock.
2021-06-06_11-06-44.jpg

So, yeah, looks like that blur is more motion blur than focus blur.
 

Ravi

Active Member
The focus issue really just needs some good examples of something with approximately a 1° FOV looking at two things, one being less than miles away, and the other being at least twice as far away. See what the focus difference is.

I think I'll go for a bike ride with my IR P900 (1° FOV at 2000mm) see if I can get something specific.

I think there is way to calculate, or at least estimate, what the hyperfocal distance is of your camera/lens. At what f/# was the camera set?
 
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markus

Active Member
He mentions that if there was a radar track, the ATFLIR display should also show speed and aspect, thereby concluding there's no radar source of the range -- an assertion most seem to be taking at face value. But he was incorrect about other details concerning the ATFLIR symbology, so that is in itself dubious. What if only the range is displayed with the ATFLIR image? What if the operator gets to select what goes in what screen? I haven't been able to find any reliable information about this, but the usual sources for (simulated) ATFLIR (the VR simulations page and now DCS) don't seem to support the idea that speed and aspect would be displayed with a radar track. At least I wasn't able to find it.

I suspect his assertion that there is no radar ranging information is one of those things for which it does make a difference whether one's experience is with the F-16 or F-18.
 

maul

New Member
I just checked the video again to see new comments, and found that when I sorted them by 'Newest first' the newest were from 6 hours ago. I suspect that Lehto is putting all new comments on hold.

For someone so confident in his arguments it's interesting how he's only manually approving positive comments.
 

NONBELIEVER

New Member
Here's another video with a pilot's take on the recent UFO videos. This guy IS an F/A-18 pilot, and doesn't seem particularly impressed by the videos. He may be unaware of Mick's videos (at least he doesn't mention them). @Mick West, might be a good person to get in contact with? I did comment on his video, with a link to Mick's Go Fast video, but no reply.
8:25 he says there not firing laser to get the range. but how does the system gather its range using trig. if it only knows that the altitude of the jet is 25000ft and the angles of the camera position which is 26 degrees at lock.
how can you use trig with those values to determine the hypotenuse to the object?
 

NONBELIEVER

New Member
Not that are documented in the sim docs we are working from, the laser ranger is only used for ranging the ground in A/G mode.
are you saying the system doesnt use trig or asssume the size of the object with given FOV etc to determine the range and instead is using the laser target?
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
are you saying the system doesnt use trig or asssume the size of the object with given FOV etc to determine the range and instead is using the laser target?

No, the laser keeps coming up

1. I don't think the laser is used to provide range in A/A mode at all, every document I find says the laser is used to provide ground range in A/G mode only.
2. LTD/R is not flashing in Go Fast anyway.
3. There's no documentation I can find to show that the ATFLIR can calculate a range to an optically tracked target using focus/FOV/pixel count or some other method as we have found out from trying to estimate sizes using optics only (Acorn iPhone photo thread) you need distance to know size and you need size to know distance, none of which the system will know.
4. Mirrorless/DSLRs can use how much they have moved the focus ring on the lens to get distance estimate which they put in EXIF, however this is 100% reliant on the object not being beyond the hyperfocal distance of the lens, i.e. not at infinity focus which very distant object will be even for a highly zoomed telephoto system. It would be nice to get the hyperfocal distance for the ATFLIR camera.

My conclusion is the range comes from RADAR which of course uses some trig in the maths it uses to give the pilot a range.
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
Chirs Letho's argument is that if were close like 6 miles as he calculated, then the pilot would have been able to tell what it was .
I'm on the fence as to what something would look like at that distance. Basically 10Km away .

That said
Didn't the Pilot/WSO say in the Gimbal video "it is a F..ing drone bro" TTSA also captioned it as such and Elizondo was part of TTSA
 

NONBELIEVER

New Member
No, the laser keeps coming up

1. I don't think the laser is used to provide range in A/A mode at all, every document I find says the laser is used to provide ground range in A/G mode only.
2. LTD/R is not flashing in Go Fast anyway.
3. There's no documentation I can find to show that the ATFLIR can calculate a range to an optically tracked target using focus/FOV/pixel count or some other method as we have found out from trying to estimate sizes using optics only (Acorn iPhone photo thread) you need distance to know size and you need size to know distance, none of which the system will know.
4. Mirrorless/DSLRs can use how much they have moved the focus ring on the lens to get distance estimate which they put in EXIF, however this is 100% reliant on the object not being beyond the hyperfocal distance of the lens, i.e. not at infinity focus which very distant object will be even for a highly zoomed telephoto system. It would be nice to get the hyperfocal distance for the ATFLIR camera.

My conclusion is the range comes from RADAR which of course uses some trig in the maths it uses to give the pilot a range.
i get you, have they said that it wasnt using radar? or it didnt pick it up on radar?
cause that sounds reasonable. although i have no idea how it would work or calculate the objects range from radar, but then again i dont know how the radar works. to know the variables



chris' whole argument is based off the idea that the range is just a guess and he assumes its wrong. the other navy pilot says he thinks the system just uses trig to determine range instead of laser. what you say makes sense. But chris says you can determine the size of the object from reference of the hud and then figure out distance with that. is he wrong? because then u have size from using hud as refference you dont need distance to determine size from that?
 
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Domzh

Active Member
Chirs Letho's argument is that if were close like 6 miles as he calculated, then the pilot would have been able to tell what it was .
I'm on the fence as to what something would look like at that distance. Basically 10Km away .

That said
Didn't the Pilot/WSO say in the Gimbal video "it is a F..ing drone bro" TTSA also captioned it as such and Elizondo was part of TTSA
tbf the pilots/wso try to make sense of what they see. if they dont think its a plane or balloon or missile theres probably only a drone left.

just because they perceive it as such doesnt makes it a drone. (you wouldnt accept "alien ufo" either).
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
tbf the pilots/wso try to make sense of what they see. if they dont think its a plane or balloon or missile theres probably only a drone left.

just because they perceive it as such doesnt makes it a drone. (you wouldnt accept "alien ufo" either).

But you see this right there is what bothers me in the UFO community. You hear this, and then the same people will say you must believe pilot witnesses. Well there it is, believe them then, it's a drone - that's what they said

If it were 6 miles, where is the TV mode 2 x zoomed footage. Are we to believe they never went into TV mode?
ie Not believable

Sometimes it's what's not shown that gives the game away
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
i get you, have they said that it wasnt using radar? or it didnt pick it up on radar?
cause that sounds reasonable. although i have no idea how it would work or calculate the objects range from radar, but then again i dont know how the radar works. to know the variables



chris' whole argument is based off the idea that the range is just a guess and he assumes its wrong. the other navy pilot says he thinks the system just uses trig to determine range instead of laser. what you say makes sense. But chris says you can determine the size of the object from reference of the hud and then figure out distance with that. is he wrong? because then u have size from using hud as refference you dont need distance to determine size from that?

We have no testimony from the Go Fast pilots as far as I know.

RADAR measures distance by bouncing a beam of EM off the subject and then doing maths on the returning signal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar#Distance_measurement

How does the HUD know the size of the object?

I'm sure pilots eyeball objects all the time, and this sort of works when you know it's a fighter jet approx. 17-20 metres, when you make assumptions that are incorrect about the size of an object then your guess of distance is way off.

If you have a known optical system, you can determine the size of an in focus object if you know the distance, and you can determine the distance if you know the size, if you know neither then you cannot determine them, you can guess based on assumptions.

Here is a calculator that allows you to work it out, note that you have to enter either a known size or a known distance to determine it's counterpart.

https://www.scantips.com/lights/subjectdistance.html
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Ryan Graves recently say somewhere that the Super Hornet has advanced equipment and rabbited on about how they wold know all details of a target as it would pop up details like range, bearing so on. He made it seem the equipment to measure this was top notch and super accurate. Now you have this Letho making it sound like there's a wheel of fortune that spins behind the cockpit, and where it lands, that's what is displayed as the range.

Something doesn't add up. It sounds like complete BS to me. Just my 2 cent opinion
 

Domzh

Active Member
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Ryan Graves recently say somewhere that the Super Hornet has advanced equipment and rabbited on about how they wold know all details of a target as it would pop up details like range, bearing so on. He made it seem the equipment to measure this was top notch and super accurate. Now you have this Letho making it sound like there's a wheel of fortune that spins behind the cockpit, and where it lands, that's what is displayed as the range.

Something doesn't add up. It sounds like complete BS to me. Just my 2 cent opinion
chris flew f16 though and not f18. the atflir is different.

however i would put ryan graves quote in perspective, hes probably talking about fully acquired jets (radar lock, etc)
 

Domzh

Active Member
But you see this right there is what bothers me in the UFO community. You hear this, and then the same people will say you must believe pilot witnesses. Well there it is, believe them then, it's a drone - that's what they said

If it were 6 miles, where is the TV mode 2 x zoomed footage. Are we to believe they never went into TV mode?
ie Not believable

Sometimes it's what's not shown that gives the game away
i agree but theres only one scientific way disregarding your believe system. using the same fallacies and bias thinking your typical "russel's teapot" ufologist uses, doesnt get us to the truth :)
 

jackfrostvc

Active Member
chris flew f16 though and not f18. the atflir is different.

however i would put ryan graves quote in perspective, hes probably talking about fully acquired jets (radar lock, etc)


Yeah, that's the point , the Gimbal was with an F-18 , and wasn't it a super hornet?

How do you tell if the object in the Gimbal did not get radar lock. Is there something on the screen that showed that in the Gimbal video?
 

Domzh

Active Member
no clue, i was answering your question regarding the discrepancies between Ryan's and Chris statement on how to interpret data / information provided by sensors

remember Ryan wasnt the guy who shot the footage.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
It gets really nuanced here all we know is that in GIMBAL the ATLFIR is not slaved to a RADAR track.

In GO FAST (same crew/plane/flight) the same is true (no SLAVE), however when Go Fast acquires optical track, a range appears presumably from RADAR but we don't 100% know, the same is not true in GIMBAL, now it might not be there, it might not be asked for. We don't know.

The problem is both videos show some odd use of the systems.

Normally if you were 100% seriously trying to get something on your ATFLIR and you had a RADAR track you would:

SLAVE ALTFLIR to the track to get it pointed at the right direction automatically, then try to get an optical auto track, then you can do whatever you want, zoom, change modes etc.

The normal military use of ATFLIR is to visually determine the plane you are about to fire a radar guided missile at is the enemy, you can't rely on RADAR alone by most rules of engagement, your track which is id'd as a Mig might be a passenger jet.
 

DavidB66

Active Member
My conclusion is the range comes from RADAR which of course uses some trig in the maths it uses to give the pilot a range.

Excuse my ignorance, but wouldn't Radar measure the direct distance along the line of 'sight'? No trig needed for that. (Assuming we are talking about radar beams transmitted from the plane itself, not some other source.)
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Possibly, but yeah it depends on what it providing the track, given tracks can be shared, there's likely some algorithms being ran to determine a track format that works relative to whomever is viewing it.
 

NONBELIEVER

New Member
We have no testimony from the Go Fast pilots as far as I know.

RADAR measures distance by bouncing a beam of EM off the subject and then doing maths on the returning signal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar#Distance_measurement

How does the HUD know the size of the object?

I'm sure pilots eyeball objects all the time, and this sort of works when you know it's a fighter jet approx. 17-20 metres, when you make assumptions that are incorrect about the size of an object then your guess of distance is way off.

If you have a known optical system, you can determine the size of an in focus object if you know the distance, and you can determine the distance if you know the size, if you know neither then you cannot determine them, you can guess based on assumptions.

Here is a calculator that allows you to work it out, note that you have to enter either a known size or a known distance to determine it's counterpart.

https://www.scantips.com/lights/subjectdistance.html
chris in the second debunking video says that you can measure the size of the object from the hud, estimate it using parts of the hud knowing fov etc, which makes sense. but stil idk why the reading would be wrong like he says im trying to understand why chris is wrong.
im talking about the pilot that is posted in the video above saying that the system uses trig to determine that range because he also says they dont fire the laser, which supports you saying its the radar system doing it.. the go fast pilots turned out to be the same as the gimbal i think.
thanks man you were very clear and i do understand, chris is just making assumption that the range is wrong for arguments sake and then saying he would estimate its size and determine its distance, but he doesnt have the Manuel telling him what fov it is so he doesnt show us. at the start of the second video he says he wil show us the distance to the object but he never does lol.
this guy says Source: https://youtu.be/M9NhOKy2K80?t=515
 
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jarlrmai

Senior Member
By HUD does he mean the actual HUD or the ATLFIR MFD overlay?

The HUD (heads up display) is the clear plane of glass that data is projected onto in front of the pilots eyeline.

The ATLFIR overlay is on a TV monitor (MFD) in the cockpit.

You can estimate distance knowing the FOV and the size of the object, we did it for Go Fast (the other way around we did size from distance). The problem is GIMBAL displays are glare from the strong IR source, glares can be much bigger than the physical object that generates them, and the further the object from the camera the more the glare stops you seeing the actual object.

So without knowing the actual size of the object you can't say what the distance is.
 
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