The PAVETACK POD is a FLIR targeting and navigation aid for F-4 and F-111 type fighter aircraft. FLIR stands for Forward Looking Infra-Red. The hardware consisted of an infra-red video camera and infra-red laser mounted in a gimbaled (moveable) head, along with a computer tied into the aircraft's targeting and navigation systems. The POD is mounted beneath the aircraft, as shown in the photos, below.
Digital ChoreoGraphics rebuilt the PAVETACK and VATS FLIR software according to DoD specifications. This software allowed a weaponry officer to use a joy-stick and cross-hair to identify and track a target via laser and infrared video camera. The software calculated and maintained the relative positions of the targets and the aircraft, and updated the targetting and navigation systems.
The software developed for this Ford Aerospace project was time-critical and failure safe. The lives of the operator (weaponry officer and pilot) depended upon the timely performance of these products.
The computers used in the PAVETACK Pod are the same computers that are used in the space shuttle.
The black & white pictures are video frames captured from the infra-red camera on board the PAVETACK Pod during an actual mission. The accompanying photos are of the F4e and the F111a fighters illustrating the positioning of the PAVETACK Pod. The middle picture and diagram show the POD and describe the POD's major sub-systems.