January 7, 2011

Colloquium Speaker: LCDR Robert Kerchner and Nancy M. Haegel


LCDR Robert Kerchner and Nancy M. Haegel are in the Physics Department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Lieutenant Commander Robert Kerchner is a Naval Flight Officer in the United States Navy. He is a current graduate from the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master’s degree in Applied Physics from the Combat Systems Science and Technology curriculum. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Southern Illinois University and Bachelor of Science in Applied Science Technology from Thomas Edison State College. He served as a Radar Intercept Officer flying F-14s at VF-213, a Weapons Systems Officer and Operational Test Director flying F-18s at VX-9, and a Joint Fires Officer and JTAC with Seal Team-8 during OIF. His research interest was in the transmission of MWIR energy to military FLIR systems for location and identification. Nancy M. Haegel is Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Naval Postgraduate School. She received her PhD in Materials Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1985 and has been on the faculty at UCLA and Fairfield University prior to joining NPS. Her research interests are in the areas of near-field imaging of carrier transport in nanostructures, far-infrared detectors and novel applications of light emitting polymers. She is the author or co-author of over 100 publications and was the recipient of the 2004 American Physical Society Prize for Research at an Undergraduate Institution.


Colloquium Topic: Vehicle Mounted Identification Friend or Foe (VMIFF): Leveraging Existing Targeting Systems for Fratricide Mitigation

Rapid feedback on the identity of friendly targets can play a key role to mitigate both air to ground and shooter-on-shooter fratricide. Many of the current mechanisms to provide warning for friendly locations involve signals (e.g. IR strobes, reflective tapes, thermal panels) that compromise otherwise covert positions to provide situational awareness. Advances in materials and devices are increasingly providing means to create low cost signaling devices that can leverage existing targeting systems. In the last few years, NPS has developed remotely triggered devices that provide “just in time” feedback to protect friendly forces. An overview of the program will be given, focusing on the use of new polymer materials as well as thermal sources for both individual and vehicle-mounted devices. Then recent efforts in the development and field demonstration of VMIFF for day and night use in both IFF and situational awareness will be presented.