News | Aug 18, 2017

Enhanced Missile Plume Signature Representation Technologies

When a surface-to-air missile is launched toward an aircraft, a special onboard sensor alerts the pilot. While these automated systems do save lives, they’re not as accurate as they could be. Data on actual missile plume signatures has been scanty, and simulations unreliable.

But through two projects supported by the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, Propulsion Science and Technology (PST) developed technologies that greatly enhance the ability to generate comprehensive missile plume signature representation databases to vastly improve warning sensor systems. The first was a method to merge models with actual measurements, and the second provided more-accurate plume imagery for the database by processing static images of missile plumes to recreate the behavior of plumes in flight.

PST’s technologies exemplify the type of Important advances enabled by the US Air Force’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. For more information, visit

Cleared: AEDC2017-113