Feature #11910

OA-FLIR has an unrealistically good signal to noise

Added by Crusader about 5 years ago. Updated 6 months ago.

Status:Rejected Start date:07/12/2010
Priority:Normal Due date:
Assignee:- % Done:

0%

Category:-
Target version:-
Component: Affected Version:
Close Reason:BIS / Engine problem

Description

Hi all,

with OA out I took a closer look at the FLIR system. Although really nicely made, one thing that puzzles me is the extremely high contrast and sensitivity one can achive even at 2+ km, in the desert at midday with an uncooled system (weapon optics).
Comparing that, even with cooled systems (about -180°C) IRL (ref.: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=13b_1267533113), the FLIR in OA seems absurdly good. Especially uncooled systems should be way less effective (its like taking a photo with a glowing lens).
As a possible remedy I suggest lowering the contrast a little for cooled and a lot for uncooled systems (code can probably taken from NV implementation?)

For further reference this article is rather good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermographic_camera
Especially interesting is the reference to NETD which can be 8-20 times better for cooled systems, as compared to uncooled ones.
Interestingly the noise reducton via intrgration time can be seen in the apache vid posted above in seconds 0:10 - 0:12, as a "smearing out" of the heat source (also something the OA FLIR doesnt do so it should be even worse than seen in the vid).

Cheers
Crusader

TI_Original_Small.png - TI OA Original (78.6 kB) Crusader, 07/14/2010 21:10

TI_Cooled_Small.png - TI Cooled Suggestion (44.9 kB) Crusader, 07/14/2010 21:10

TI_Uncooled_Small.png - TI Uncooled Suggestion (36.7 kB) Crusader, 07/14/2010 21:10

Overlay.jpg (139.1 kB) q1184, 08/08/2010 19:17

NoOverlay.jpg (329.8 kB) q1184, 08/08/2010 19:17

History

Updated by KingHomer about 5 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Feedback

Well in this video: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=95f_1250769564 the thermal image is really sharp and good and even better when switched to black hot. I guess this also depends on weather conditions and video quality? Probably does your video show a low recording quality.

Updated by S2 about 5 years ago

I do agree that the contrast is too much during the day. IRL we would still be able to see people out in open desert out to 2K, but not as clearly as it is in OA now. There are a multitude of settings of the FLIR system IRL on the Brdley that lets you change the gain and contrast, as well as a auto mode that will help make the contrast between heat a little more clear. One thing though, is that the Bradley sight, not sure about the M1, is not black and white like it is in OA, its green. For whatever reason the squad leader's display in the back of the vehicle is white if he is looking at what the gunner is seeing. The gunner's actual site is green though, to save his night vision. For both FLIR and Day TV, there also a a small clear gunsight that doesn't use the TADS, its a different eye piece but it's not used that often.

Here is a hot summer day, you can see the date and time, through a bradley gun sight with white hot flir
As you can see there are two people standing there, which aren't too hard to make out, but a lot more difficult than in OA. The contrast settings aren't that great at the time of this picture though. As you can see the ground is hotter than the people...lol.

Here is the Day TV,

Unfortunately I don't have the day sight, but it is pretty much what the day sight is now, except the reticule is the one used by the ACE Bradley with the drop compensator.

Here is another picture at night, about 2 AM if I remember right.

Updated by TheBigHerm about 5 years ago

Hello, I was asked to post here by King Homer. I have real life experience as well on both the M1A2 Abrams and the newest versions of M2A3 Bradley with the IBAS upgrade... While I do agree that there are some issues with the in-game variant of the FLIR, I believe accurately depicting the heats effect on the ground or objects is a coding nightmare. If it can be done, I would like to see it happen...but if its just going to cause more issues than its worth...totally against it

In reference to your reply, I have been working directly with King Homer in giving guidance on making this optic, as well as the others, as modern and realistic as possible. My unit at Fort Hood, 2-8 Cav of the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division was the first to stage and use these new and improved IBAS systems in combat. The pictures you have posted above are of thermals from the IBAS upgrade. The new thermal imaging can reach out and accurately provide a clear picture for improved Positive identification (PID) of possible enemy militants. This new system upgrades both gunner and commander imaging and is currently being both fielded on normal variants of the M2A3 and the Scout and FIST versions as well. The ability of the scout to see the enemy clearly and and from very far away allow them to be a lot more efficient at their jobs. Here is some information highlighting the changes to the Bradley thermal imaging system both for the Gunner and Commander's systems;
The M2A3 moved into the digital age with a 1553 databus, central processing unit, and information displays for the vehicle commander and squad leader. The M2A3 became compatible with the intervehicular communication system of the M1A2 Abrams tank and AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter. The commander was provided with an independent thermal viewer, and a new integrated sight unit called the Improved Bradley Acquisition System (IBAS) allowed automatic gun adjustments, automatic boresighting, and tracking of dual targets(Drop Comp) The CITV and integrated sight are both third-generation FLIR systems. The roof was reinforced with titanium armor. M2A3s are being converted from M2A2s.

The Gen III FLIR sensor of the new Bradley sight is packaged in a B-kit, a working sensor, which is also common to the commander's independent thermal viewer on the M1A2 Abrams tank and the long-range advanced scout surveillance system (LRAS3) on the M1025 scout vehicle. The same B-kit is a candidate to upgrade the Marine Corps' Abrams ranks and other ground vehicles worldwide.

Mini eye-safe laser infrared observation set (MELIOS) : 50 to 9,995 meters

I may be mistaken about the color of gunner's sight of the Bradley, as I was only ever a TC..But I was mainly an Abrams guy (19K)
I hope this helps!

Updated by Crusader about 5 years ago

Hi all,

thanks for the info S2 and TheBigHerm, very educational!
As stated in my original post, my problem is not so much the vehicle based systems, as these are (in their newest versions) probable a bit, but not by too much worse that depicted in OA.
My main gripe is with the weapon mounted sights, which show exactly the same sensitivity as the vehicular systems in game.

Basically the sensitivity of the system should be influenced by the following factors:

Sensor:
- Size of the lens and IR radiation detector assembly (f/1 value)
- Temperature of the assembly, both of the lens and the reciever, as well as the electronics behind them (reduces thermal electronic jitter in the system = noise)
- overall quality of the sensor assembly
- post processing image enhancement algorithms (including integration)

Environment and Target:
- relative heat emission of the target relative to the environment
- distance of the target
- diverse effects such as ground effect and/or air layers

This list is not exhaustive and the signal to noise of a given sensor assembly is a complex topic indeed.

I am not saying you should model this all in ACE!
As a matter of fact just lower the contrast of the camera (like you can do with NV goggles) and up the brightness so it doesnt become too dark, should do nicely already!
One setting for cooled systems (as they take into account many of the points listed above) with little to no change from now and a setting for uncooled (weapon mounted) systems with a moderate to strong reduction in contrast, as these are inferior in every count to the vehicular systems.

IMO of course ;)

Cheers
Crusader

Updated by fireship4 about 5 years ago

In this video the TC of the Abrams can be seen looking a red screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3mnlSWl7uQ

Updated by Salah about 5 years ago

Hm, interesting pics from the Bradley. Are you even allowed to post stuff like that?

Anyway, a friend of mine stated that the OA Thermal is too accurate, but I always assumed the Thermal Optics post-processed the image to enhance contrast. For example the soldier seen on your last pic is completely white. I would think that a soldier, wearing gear and uniform and weapons would have different temperatures on different parts of his body, still the FLIR shows him completely white (greenish white in the Bradley). So the software merges these slight temperature differences into one reading.

Having real heat data for terrain, buildings and foliage would probably be a modders nightmare and not worth the effort. Just add a little granularity to the vehicles FLIRs and a bit more granularity to the TSW weapons.

On a side note, would be cool to have some sort of incendiary grenades that create a wall of fire that will block thermal vision.

Updated by KingHomer about 5 years ago

I think showing optics is not forbidden by OPSEC.

Okay guys, please formulate what exactly should be changed on BIS' FLIR?

Bring some examples, before and after pictures.

Updated by TheBigHerm about 5 years ago

fireship4 wrote:

In this video the TC of the Abrams can be seen looking a red screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3mnlSWl7uQ

In the abrams, the thermal (commander's thermal) is actually an orange screen. Looks red in that picture.

Homer, in terms of changes you should make Ill list them here:

1. Add grain to weapon mounted thermal sights such as the m110 TWS to show that it is an uncooled system and doesnt have the power of a vehicle mounted thermal
2. Bradley gunners sights changed to green and black to reflect the difference between bradley and m1 abrams (my mistake for giving you bad information)
3. Contrast selection for thermals on vehicles as compared to thermals on weapon sights.

Need anything else, lemme know KingHomer. I'll be on skype

Updated by Crusader about 5 years ago

Hi all,

here is an artistic interpretation of mine, how I imagine what a human looks like, in the desert during day at a distance of about 1km.
This is just an (hopefully) educated guess how the systems would roughly perform based on what I have seen so far.
I have to note that I wanted to do this directly in the ARMA engine, but couldn't for some reason apply ppeffects to the TI Camera. On the other hand I'm a scripting noob ;)
So I used GIMP, adjusting contrast, brightness and applied a little motion blur.

Cheers
Crusader

Updated by TheBigHerm about 5 years ago

Trips wrote:

For what it's worth

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/Arrowhead/ArrowheadVideo1.html

EXCELLENT TRIPS! That is what I have been looking for...A perfect side by side interpretation.

Updated by fireship4 about 5 years ago

Are you sure they didnt add that interference (like an old video tape that has been used a lot) in there to sell their next gen system?

Updated by Trips about 5 years ago

I'm not sure of that in the slightest but in the '2nd Gen' footage there does seem to be an increased resolution and also sensitivity (1st Gen is like monochrome, 2nd Gen is like grayscale).

Updated by UGLY58 about 5 years ago

Range: The better FLIR sensors are better "at range", the clarity of the picture is more dependant on this factor than any other.

Weather: Temperature difference of target to background. On a hot day when the ground is 37 degrees C. Stood Naked in front of a FLIR guess what, Mr almost Invisible ! If it then rains the ground cools rapidly and you become Mr Visble, just wet and miserable. Rain and Moisture greatly reduce range of FLIR systems as they cool everything rapidly. Nice dry desert and the opposite applies.

MRT - the Minimum Resolvable Temperature, the more modern the FLIR the better at detecting temperature differences, therefore the better clarity of image, it becomes sharper more definable. The biggest difference between cooled and uncooled sensors.

Detectors: The scan rate and number of detectors affect the quality, the more modern the better resolution the image

Weapons and hand held FLIR sights are good at short range, but drop of rapidly with range. The M1 should be able to define a moving vehicle by type out to weapons range. The Apache - the video above is a comparrison between the old TADS and new MTADS sights, again MTADS less affected by range, higher resolution of the original image, newer technology. MQ-9 is just like Black and white TV at very long ranges. The more bucks you spend, the bigger the sight, the newer the sight, the better it gets.

OK so thats real world, what to do in ARMA to make FLIR more realistic. Reduce the pixel content (resolution) of the image over range. In addition the smaller the size of the sight the lower the quality of the original image and the greater the affect of range. Weather and additional reduction in the resolution of the image.

My Credibility is I have operated FLIR/Thermal Imaging Sights on many different platforms from 1986 to present. Things have improved a lot, but not quite to the level of Operation Arrowhead FLIR.....yet.

Updated by rocko about 5 years ago

  • Target version set to Planned (Needs Contributors)

Updated by SuffiX about 5 years ago

To fix this issue, it will be great to add temperature characteristics to other objects like stones, buildings, metal objects etc. (not only vehicles and humans) and change them dynamic depending on day time with special to every object coefficient (some object got hot more than others). Because environment objects at day time also have temperature from sun. So image should be not so contrast...

Updated by MaHuJa about 5 years ago

IMO the biggest problem with OA TI is that the landscape and static objects (vegetation, buildings) do not have temperature simulation - at all.

  • The lighter the object is visually (discounting non-ambient light), the hotter TI tells you it is.
    This is most obvious when you switch TI on and off.
    IRL, Dark parts of an object will tend to absorb more energy from the sunlight.
  • The ambient lighting present in the scene determines how much heat contrast there is
    On a moonless, cloudy night, you won't see much but actual units/vehicles in the OA TI.

Actually, if we ignore
heat retention
sun and shadows
heat transfer from nearby sources (calculate that!)
then this should pretty much be the default at any light level.

Thus we can conclude that these objects are merely "rendered as visual" (with adjusted contrast) in the WHOT view (BHOT merely being negative of that), rather than undergoing temperature simulation like people and vehicles. (Couldn't they at least have made it rendered as visual in the BHOT view? Well, I think I can guess why they didn't.)

Until this is fixed, TI system factors will probably only really affect clarity, as in identification; detection won't be affected much. Unless broken completely.
Once this is fixed, the individual differences between TI systems is just the icing on the cake.

From what I know of the OA TI implementation (which isn't much, and may be wrong) modders cannot satisfactorily fix this problem. And I can't imagine BIS unaware of this, so the question is why it was left like this. CPU/Memory requirements? Development time? Object updates needing to be done by hand?

In any case, the current TI is far better than the "FLIR" used in various A2 systems, starting with the UAV.

On a related note, I noticed the a2oa user settings file contain keybinds for TI brightness/contrast. I don't know if they actually do anything (and if not, they might in the future).

Updated by Xeno about 5 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Rejected
  • Target version deleted (Planned (Needs Contributors))
  • Close Reason set to BIS / Engine problem

MaHuJa wrote:

From what I know of the OA TI implementation (which isn't much, and may be wrong) modders cannot satisfactorily fix this problem.

Exactly.

Updated by Crusader about 5 years ago

Sorry to chime in late here, but how exactly is a change of contrast and probably a bit of blur added to the TI system not doable?
It is true that I tried to do it myself in the meantime and failed, as PP effects do not seem to affect a TI camera. On the other hand my scripting skills are arguably noobish.

I think ppl talking about thermal simulation of the whole environment got my intention wrong, just add a bit of blur and low3er the contrast a lot and be done with it, thats close enough and much better than the fantasy TI "simulation" we have now.

Cheers
Crusader

Updated by KingHomer about 5 years ago

Crusader wrote:

I think ppl talking about thermal simulation of the whole environment got my intention wrong, just add a bit of blur and low3er the contrast a lot and be done with it, thats close enough and much better than the fantasy TI "simulation" we have now.

Easier said than done. It's hardcoded and we have no possibility to change that.

Updated by Crusader about 5 years ago

Allright that clarifies, thx anyway!

Updated by q1184 about 5 years ago

The only thing that we could do is to add a semi-transparent layer to the optics texture (gray for B/W, greenish for G/W and G/B etc). It lowers the contrast to the point where you can't distinguish environment details at all, and hot objects are somewhat harder to spot and identify. See comparison pics (I actually used a scripted overlay here, hence the reticle is also dimmed - shouldn't be the case if optics textures are edited).

Another idea is to additionally use dynamic scripted overlays to create a fake noise effect. Just a bunch of pre-rendered noise overlays quickly following each other.

A slightly crazier idea: to create a half-transparent "window" object and put it in front of the player each time he uses TI optics. Different rvmat/texture settings might give a good result, but it will require much testing and tweaking.

To limit the maximum range, we could dynamically use setviewdistance/setfog commands. Crude but does the job.

Updated by Crusader about 5 years ago

Wow looks much better, its a shame really that BIS has not allowed pp effects to work out of the box for TI, but thx for your efforts!

Cheers
Crusader

Updated by pingopete over 2 years ago

I'm glad to see other people have noticed this as well. What's frustrating is that ARMA2 OA's TI does adjust its aperture to the overall light(heat) intensity it's just not manually adjustable as is NV with ace. I'm not a hardcore scripter by any means but in an attempt to solve this I tweaked the setTIaperture script in the LDL ac130 mod; when I first switched to TI there was a brief moment of joy; the ground, huts, everything was bright, just like in the real apache gun cam videos, it quickly readjusted back to the under exposed default settings though. I'm wandering if there were a way to create a small script that could manually adjust TI aperture in game as ace did with the previously auto adjusting NV?

Updated by ScarecrowisNOTamused. over 2 years ago

pingopete wrote:

I'm glad to see other people have noticed this as well. What's frustrating is that ARMA2 OA's TI does adjust its aperture to the overall light(heat) intensity it's just not manually adjustable as is NV with ace. I'm not a hardcore scripter by any means but in an attempt to solve this I tweaked the setTIaperture script in the LDL ac130 mod; when I first switched to TI there was a brief moment of joy; the ground, huts, everything was bright, just like in the real apache gun cam videos, it quickly readjusted back to the under exposed default settings though. I'm wandering if there were a way to create a small script that could manually adjust TI aperture in game as ace did with the previously auto adjusting NV?

Here's the script the NVG adjustment system is based off if it helps, though i don't think Rommel checks Devheaven anymore due to his hate of it.
http://www.ofpec.com/forum/index.php?topic=34413.0

Updated by pingopete over 2 years ago

ScarecrowisNOTamused. wrote:

pingopete wrote:

I'm glad to see other people have noticed this as well. What's frustrating is that ARMA2 OA's TI does adjust its aperture to the overall light(heat) intensity it's just not manually adjustable as is NV with ace. I'm not a hardcore scripter by any means but in an attempt to solve this I tweaked the setTIaperture script in the LDL ac130 mod; when I first switched to TI there was a brief moment of joy; the ground, huts, everything was bright, just like in the real apache gun cam videos, it quickly readjusted back to the under exposed default settings though. I'm wandering if there were a way to create a small script that could manually adjust TI aperture in game as ace did with the previously auto adjusting NV?

Here's the script the NVG adjustment system is based off if it helps, though i don't think Rommel checks Devheaven anymore due to his hate of it.
http://www.ofpec.com/forum/index.php?topic=34413.0

Thanks, I'll have a bash at it! Unfortunately most of the links on that page are dead :/

Updated by ScarecrowisNOTamused. over 2 years ago

pingopete wrote:

ScarecrowisNOTamused. wrote:

pingopete wrote:

I'm glad to see other people have noticed this as well. What's frustrating is that ARMA2 OA's TI does adjust its aperture to the overall light(heat) intensity it's just not manually adjustable as is NV with ace. I'm not a hardcore scripter by any means but in an attempt to solve this I tweaked the setTIaperture script in the LDL ac130 mod; when I first switched to TI there was a brief moment of joy; the ground, huts, everything was bright, just like in the real apache gun cam videos, it quickly readjusted back to the under exposed default settings though. I'm wandering if there were a way to create a small script that could manually adjust TI aperture in game as ace did with the previously auto adjusting NV?

Here's the script the NVG adjustment system is based off if it helps, though i don't think Rommel checks Devheaven anymore due to his hate of it.
http://www.ofpec.com/forum/index.php?topic=34413.0

Thanks, I'll have a bash at it! Unfortunately most of the links on that page are dead :/

This one perhaps http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=8539
RMM_Core was 'replaced' by CBA so you probably won't find it around anywhere.

I just asked him on TS he said it's just setapeture with some extra code to detect NVG's, Non-NVG's, ect so it probably doesn't apply to you what so ever.

Updated by pingopete over 2 years ago

ScarecrowisNOTamused. wrote:

pingopete wrote:

ScarecrowisNOTamused. wrote:

pingopete wrote:

I'm glad to see other people have noticed this as well. What's frustrating is that ARMA2 OA's TI does adjust its aperture to the overall light(heat) intensity it's just not manually adjustable as is NV with ace. I'm not a hardcore scripter by any means but in an attempt to solve this I tweaked the setTIaperture script in the LDL ac130 mod; when I first switched to TI there was a brief moment of joy; the ground, huts, everything was bright, just like in the real apache gun cam videos, it quickly readjusted back to the under exposed default settings though. I'm wandering if there were a way to create a small script that could manually adjust TI aperture in game as ace did with the previously auto adjusting NV?

Here's the script the NVG adjustment system is based off if it helps, though i don't think Rommel checks Devheaven anymore due to his hate of it.
http://www.ofpec.com/forum/index.php?topic=34413.0

Thanks, I'll have a bash at it! Unfortunately most of the links on that page are dead :/

This one perhaps http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=8539
RMM_Core was 'replaced' by CBA so you probably won't find it around anywhere.

I just asked him on TS he said it's just setapeture with some extra code to detect NVG's, Non-NVG's, ect so it probably doesn't apply to you what so ever.

Thanks again. Finally figured out how to unpack/repack pbo's, been looking absolutely everywhere for the OA TI files. Does anyone know where they're located in the game files? All I can find are references to it in TWS files etc.

Updated by cyrilator over 2 years ago

Flir camera mounted on Helicopters and Planes can achieve High Definition images at very far distances :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh06nCegv5g

AH64D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICsujYpRI8A

(note the very good heat contrast, not as bad as you would suggest)

if something is made to tweak the rendering it must take into account the type of camera used.

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