Thomson-CSF Optronique ATLIS II

Ground attack integrated system (fixed-wing).


In 1975 Thomson-CSF awarded a $3.7 million contract to Martin Marietta Aerospace (now Lockheed Martin) for the development and test of the ATLIS pod. Thomson is responsible for manufacturing and marketing the pod. The French company CILAS provides the ITAY 139 laser illuminator/rangefinder. The prototype system, known as ATLIS I, was flight-tested during the late 1970s and the French Air Force decided to equip a number of Jaguar aircraft with ATLIS pods and cockpit viewing and control equipment. Following completion of the ATLIS pod development, Thomson-CSF and Lockheed Martin developed and flight-tested a new system, ATLIS II, for use with Jaguar and F-16 aircraft. ATLIS II is lighter than the original ATLIS, and includes a computer to interface directly with a digital bus-bar.


ATLIS II is a pod-mounted laser targeting system with an automatic TV tracker and CILAS ITAY 139 Nd:YAG laser designator/rangefinder which includes tape recorder and interface electronics. The automatic dual-mode (visible and near infrared) TV tracker and laser stabilisation system reduces pilot workload and permits tracking and designation by a single-seat aircraft during break and low and medium-range standoff manoeuvres. As the system is pod mounted it may be installed on a wide variety of strike and close-support aircraft. The stabilisation system is located in the front of the pod and provides a stabilised optical path for image data processing, laser designation/reception while also providing a mechanism for steering optical line of sight. The image data are reflected from a stabilised mirror into a fixed optical assembly which folds and focuses the image into the TV camera. The output from the camera provides two fields of view to the display in the cockpit and to the automatic tracker, 6┬░ for target acquisition and two others for identification. Laser designation energy is reflected to the dichroic portion of a combining glass located within the image path. The combining glass passes shorter wavelength image data but reflects the laser energy so that it leaves the combiner collinear with the scene data. A steerable, stabilised mirror provides the optical line of sight and a pitch/yaw rate stabilised inertial platform provides rejection of high-frequency dynamic motions. A roll turret drive unit is used in conjunction with the pitch/yaw stabilisation system to provide line of sight steering. The dual-mode tracker provides both area correlation and point tracking. The area correlator mode is used to stabilise the scene and provide designation for area or low-contrast targets. The point tracking mode is used for stationary or moving point targets. The TV camera operates both in the near infrared and visible spectrum. The image magnification and the selection of the spectral bandwidth provide the best contrast enhancement to allow greater target detection ranges. A digital processor manages all the pod functions. It provides automatic testing, rate-aided tracking signals and fire-control computation. A closed-cycle environment control system ensures good pod performance under the most difficult conditions.

Operational status ATLIS II has been in production for the French Air Force since 1984-85. It is in service on French Air Force Jaguars and on Mirage 2000, Upgraded Super-Etendard and F-16 aircraft in other countries. It has been delivered to several other air forces including Pakistan and Thailand.
ATLIS II was used by French Air Force Jaguars in Operation Desert Storm.

COMPANY NAME : Thomson-CSF Optronique