Aero-Optics Beacon

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9451-08-C-0100
Agency Tracking Number: F071-002-1050
Amount: $1,078,040.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solitcitation Year: 2007
Solitcitation Topic Code: AF071-002
Solitcitation Number: 2007.1
Small Business Information
MZA ASSOC. CORP.
2021 Girard SE, Suite 150, Albuquerque, NM, 87106
Duns: 794350025
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Whiteley
 VP Dayton/Senior Scientis
 (937) 432-6560
 whiteley@mza.com
Business Contact
 Robert Praus II
Title: President
Phone: (505) 245-9970
Email: praus@mza.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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