Southern Research has a well- established history in the development of airborne pods that began with a development effort for an Infrared (IR) signature measurement pod for the U.S. Air Force 46th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in 1972. Originally designed as a fixed-pointing pod to carry Infrared seekers being tested, this pod evolved into a significantly more complex system featuring multiple imaging sensors and a steerable turret. As seeker and sensor technology improved, Southern Research worked in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force in developing several variants of this pod with upgraded sensors and improved multi-axis turrets. The evolution of this design led to the development of other special sensor test pods. These systems have been mounted on F-4, QF-4, and F-15 aircraft. Additionally, special pods have been built to test the AIM-9X missile seeker aboard Navy F/A-18 aircraft, and an Army pod used to test anti-tank seekers has been mounted on a Gulfstream jet. A radar signature measurement pod developed by Southern Research has recently been approved by Seek Eagle to be mounted on F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft.
A special project for Southern Research was the Common Signature Measurement Pod (CSMP) which was built for the 46th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base to support airborne test and evaluation. The CSMP was flown on F-15 aircraft and was used for characterizing infrared signatures of missiles and aircraft.
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