Adaptive Optics System for Mitigating Deep Atmospheric Turbulence Effect
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
ABSTRACT: This proposal addresses the problem with development of a system capable of creating a small size, light beacon on a distant, image-resolved target after laser beam propagation through turbulent medium. Novel solutions to this problem are required, since the conventional target-in-the-loop (TIL) adaptive optic concept is generally not effective in many practical operational environments. MetroLaser has developed an innovative approach for a TIL method for effective compensation of laser beam aberrations induced by deep turbulence. The proposed solution to the problem is based on the analogy between the concepts of a TIL system and a laser cavity. In Phase I of this program, we analyzed the performance of the proposed method and experimentally proved its capability to control the structure and spatial location of the laser beam on the target after propagating through the simulated turbulent medium. In Phase II, we will design, integrate and validate a robust brassboard that will be used for experimental demonstration of a minimal size beacon formation on a distant, extended target with scattering surface. The program will culminate with field testing of the brassboard in the environment with realistic atmospheric conditions. BENEFIT: The proposed solution will support numerous applications and critical technologies that require control of a laser beam profile as it propagates through optically non-uniform media. The technique can also be used to mitigate the effects associated with laser beam propagation through mediums with strong optical non-uniformity. The latter is a widespread problem typical for lasercom, underwater laser beam propagation, and perspective medical laser use, where the tissue is optically transparent although it has strong optical non-uniformity.
Small Business Information at Submission:
8 Chrysler Irvine, CA 92618
Number of Employees: