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Adaptive Optics Compensation in Deep Atmospheric Turbulence

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9451-08-M-0034
Agency Tracking Number: F073-002-0755
Amount: $99,928.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF073-002
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-01-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-01-31
Small Business Information
2021 Girard SE Suite 150
Albuquerque, NM 87106
United States
DUNS: 794350025
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Senior Scientist
 (561) 747-6881
Business Contact
 Ted Cunion
Title: CFO
Phone: (505) 245-9970
Research Institution

Adaptive optics (AO) compensation of deep atmospheric turbulence remains a significant obstacle to the deployment of laser beam projection and imaging systems for a many applications. Tactical high-energy laser (HEL) weapon systems will be particularly limited by inadequate AO schemes as they will often be required to operate in engagement scenarios encountering deep turbulence. AO systems that employ a Shack-Hartmann WFS are particularly hampered in strong turbulence due to the presence of branch cuts in the sensed phase function. MZA proposes to investigate a novel multi-conjugate AO system concept, model a prototype in a tactical HEL weapon system context, and evaluate its performance in strong turbulence via wave-optics and experimentation. The concept, named SIRCAO, utilizes an SPGD driven DM conjugate to a location along the propagation path and a second DM, conjugate to the pupil plane, driven by WFS outputs, where the WFS is a Shack-Hartmann or SRI. Beyond HEL cleanup, the SPGD DM provides an intensity remapping of the BIL return before it is sensed by the WFS by applying a phase change and then reimaging. This reduces branch cuts in the phase and allows for significant performance increase of the WFS and the overall system.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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