Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
MZA partnered with the University of Notre Dame proposes a Phase II laboratory demonstration of a beacon formation, wavefront sensing, and HEL compensation for mitigation of aero-optical disturbances. We demonstrated the formation of an air-breakdown laser spark in close proximity to an aircraft platform of sufficient signal brightness for wavefront sensing. We evaluated application of optimal estimation techniques to the beacon measurements giving HEL compensation anisoplanatism similar to a reference placed at a much greater range. We propose to integrate a suitable illuminator laser into our existing laboratory optical train, form laser spark beacons within a wind tunnel test section, and measure the disturbance beacon wavefront while simultaneously measuring a collimated beam through the same aero-optics volume. We will characterize the wavefront data to evaluate the potential for implementing HEL phase estimation from the actual beacon signal. Laboratory measurements will include differing flow speeds, variable forcing for flow regularization, and off-axis beacon pointing into the flow. These measurements will be used in wave-optics simulation to assess hardware mitigation techniques, both with laboratory equipment and for military aircraft lasers. We will simulate and implement in the laboratory a suitable aero-optics mitigation demonstration using previously-tested wavefront control methods.
Small Business Information at Submission:
VP Dayton/Senior Scientis
Robert W. Praus II
MZA ASSOC. CORP.
2021 Girard SE Suite 150 Albuquerque, NM 87106
Number of Employees: