Systems Engineering and Analysis of Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems
So why write this book? There are already a variety of excellent texts that discuss the field of systems engineering in a general fashion. Similarly, there are many excellent books about imaging, detection, and optical systems from a technical point of view. In the former case, these general systems engineering–oriented books do an excellent job of describing fundamental systems engineering principles, tools, techniques, and methodologies, but often they stop short on giving specific discipline-centric, technical examples and implementations in an integrated fashion. There are many excellent examples of general systems engineering texts from various publishers. An excellent example is Benjamin S. Blanchard and Wolter J. Fabrycky’s book titled Systems Engineering and Analysis.
On the other end of the spectrum (pardon the pun), there are many excellent technical books on optical detection and imaging but the connections to the systems engineering discipline are tenuous and brief. An excellent example of this kind of book is the one by R. D. Hudson, Infrared Systems Engineering, wherein abides a wealth of technical information with regard to infrared optical systems, but the systems engineering content is relegated to only a few pages at the beginning of the book. This is somewhat understandable since the development and description of systems engineering processes has a different flow than the development of technical information in an optical or imaging book. For this book, we wanted to achieve three goals:
1. We wanted to write an optical systems engineering book that uses fundamental systems engineering principles throughout the book to drive the optical/imaging technical content.
2. The optical/imaging technical content has to be sufficient to allow the practicing engineer to understand and analyze optical systems and to be able to apply the optical technical content to modern optical systems.
3. We wanted an integrated case study to serve as a running example of how the systems engineering content is applied to optical systems and also to provide examples of how to apply the optical systems technical content. This also provided the opportunity to incorporate professional nuances and applications-related discussions that normally are out of place in a purely technical discussion. In addition to these three goals, we also wanted to provide coverage of enterprise architecture methods, systems of systems, and family of systems and the role systems engineering takes in these paradigms. We also wanted to introduce the reader to model-based systems engineering (MBSE) methods and tools and provide some examples of how these tools are used throughout the systems engineering life cycle. Finally, we wanted to present some coverage of modern-day electro-optical and infrared systems.
Why the title? We chose the title Systems Engineering and Analysis of Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems to show first of all that this is a systems engineering–oriented text. By emphasizing “analysis”, we state that this book is intended to have enough theory, analytical content, and technical depth, to allow the practicing engineer to analyze optical systems from both a systems and a technical perspective. We use the words electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) systems because this characterization is well known in the U.S.
Department of Defense (DoD) and the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance communities. We could have used the combination of “visible and infrared systems” instead of “electro-optical and infrared systems” in the title since we predominantly focus on optical systems in the visible and infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. However, according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, “electro-optical” means “relating to or being an electronic device for emitting, modulating, transmitting, or sensing light.” This definition has more of a systems interpretation and for this reason as well as for name recognition, we chose to use “electro-optical and infrared systems” in the title. Also, the last word in the title is “systems” to emphasize that we are providing a systems-level technical focus in this book. We should mention at this point that unless otherwise stated, we use the term “optical” to describe applicable parts of the ultraviolet (UV), visible, and infrared (IR) parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. If we need to distinguish between the UV, visible, IR, and other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, we will make that clear within the text.
Our organizational approach is to start each chapter with a focused discussion that sequentially describes the systems engineering process. These discussions are meant to be general and directly applicable to optical systems. Our intent here is not to exhaustively cover general systems engineering topics but rather to present the key systems engineering methodologies, techniques, and tools needed to drive the optical analysis and design processes that are presented in this text. We therefore do not intend nor find it necessary to replicate large portions of the generic systems engineering texts that are currently prevalent in the literature. We do intend to capture the inherent systems engineering methodologies contained in the leading current texts and journals and apply them to optical systems. We will selectively use appropriate processes and tools to outline the fundamental systems engineering practices in modern times and use these to drive the focus of our optical systems engineering and analysis.
Just as with the systems engineering content of this book, we do not try to exhaustively replicate technical optics books that are widely available on the market. This would be redundant and unnecessary and require too much space. Instead, we focus on optical systems analysis, metrics, and design considerations that are needed by the optical systems engineer. The level of detail in our “optical building blocks” content would be more in line with a modernization and topical expansion of the classic text from Richard D. Hudson, Jr. titled Infrared Systems Engineering. Although light in emphasizing modern fundamental systems engineering principles—an issue that is remedied in this book—the Hudson text has the right level of detail for the optical systems engineer. We will provide a similar level of detail but also include an expanded set of topics, modernized material, and an expansion from just infrared to visible and infrared systems.
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