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General Wave-Optics Based Scaling Laws for Multiple/Obscured Apertures



The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.


OBJECTIVE: Develop the scaling law capabilities needed to obtain high fidelity solutions and model laser systems that contain multiple/obscured apertures.


DESCRIPTION: High energy laser (HEL) systems with spatially distributed architectures offer the potential for substantially reduced volume while mitigating thermal management requirements at the laser source (i.e., offers the potential for distributed thermal management). This beam combining method uses multiple lasers spatially distributed across the beam director’s entrance pupil. The approach also uses inexpensive high bandwidth electrooptic modulators and positioners to control the piston, tip, and tilt of each optical beamlet train, allowing for the overall system to apply a wavefront correction (without the use of combining elements or deformable mirrors) so that the beamlets coherently combine at the target. Current commercially available scaling law modeling and simulation packages, such as SHARE or HELEEOS, do not have the capabilities needed to obtain high-fidelity solutions and model HEL systems that contain multiple/obscured apertures. Scaling law modeling and simulations with these capabilities are sought to enable trade space analyses to be performed to determine the technical viability of the spatially distributed aperture HEL system approach as an alternative to current technical approaches for missile defense applications.


PHASE I: Develop a scaling law model for HEL systems that are composed of either multiple apertures that are spatially distributed and/or a single aperture that is obscured. Demonstrate the model adequately addresses critical/key system engineering design constraints (e.g., diffraction, jitter, aero-optic disturbances, atmospheric propagation, beam control, radiometry, etc.) for the selected approach(es).


PHASE II: Using the model developed in Phase I, develop packaged modules that are user friendly with proper documentation and have the potential to be implemented in current commercially available scaling law packages such as SHARE or HELEEOS. When needed, validation experiments should be used to reduce risk of model uncertainty.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Use the modules developed in Phase II to perform solicitor selected trade studies. Develop a more convenient way of defining different HEL system configurations and advance methods for bookkeeping the power lost to different HEL system configurations.


COMMERCIALIZATION: The new scaling law packages will provide military and commercial HEL system developers the ability to compare different systems (e.g., end-to-end systems with beam directors that are off-axis unobscured, centrally obscured, spatially distributed with multiple subapertures, and/or conformal phased arrays) and to tradespace analysis necessary for effective planning and decision making.


KEYWORDS: High Energy Lasers, Modeling And Simulation, Scaling Laws, Scaling Codes, Beam Control, Wave Optics, Beam Combination, Fiber Lasers

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