|Passive Homing Guidance
A passive homing system is like active in that the missile is independent
of any external guidance system and like semi-active in that it only
receives signals and cannot transmit. Passive missiles instead rely on some
form of energy that is transmitted by the target and can be tracked by the
Passive homing guidance
This energy could take many forms. For example, infrared seekers like
those used on Sidewinder home in on the heat signature generated by a
target. Anti-radiation missiles like HARM track the radio frequency energy
transmitted by ground-based radar stations. Passive torpedoes use sonar, or
sound waves, created by the engines of ships to attack their targets.
Electro-optic sensors like those used on Maverick rely on visual images to
guide towards a target.
Retransmission Homing Guidance
A more unusual example of homing guidance is the retransmission method.
This technique is largely similar to command guidance but with a unique
twist. The target is tracked via an external radar, but the reflected signal
is intercepted by a receiver onboard the missile, as in semi-active homing.
However, the missile has no onboard computer to process these signals. The
signals are instead transmitted back to the launch platform for processing.
The subsequent commands are then retransmitted back to the missile so that
it can deflect control surfaces to adjust its trajectory.
Retransmission homing guidance
This method is also sometimes called "track via missile" (TVM) since the
missile acts as a conduit of tracking information from the target back to
the ground control station. The advantage of TVM homing is that most of the
expensive tracking and processing hardware is located on the ground where it
can be reused for future missile launches rather than be destroyed.
Unfortunately, the method also requires excellent high-speed communication
links between the missile and control station, limiting the system to rather
short ranges. Retransmission homing guidance is used on the Patriot