Spatial-Temporal Control Applied to Atmospheric Adaptive Optics

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
MZA Associates Corporation
2021 Girard SE, Suite 150, Albuquerque, NM, 87106
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Matt Whiteley
 Program Manager
 (937) 684-4100
Business Contact
 Cathy McGinnis
Title: Contracts Manager
Phone: (505) 515-3069
Research Institution
MZA proposes the development of linear-time-invariant predictive controllers for use in adaptive optics (AO) systems to reduce the degradation associated with finite wavefront sensor sample rate and latency. These predictive AO controllers will provide equivalent performance to fully-adaptive methods, but are simpler in design/operation and more transparent to users than adaptive control. We will investigate variations on these techniques including periodic updating of the predictor model, and alternative implementations that may be integrated with adaptive control when feasible. We will address the synergy offered by predictive control when employed with flow regularization for an aero-optical shear layer. We will test an integrated flow regularization and AO control solution using wind tunnel data with variable flow rates and variable forcing frequencies. Wave-optics models will be developed incorporating the predictive controllers and simulations will be conducted to test our controller with aero-optics and free-stream atmospheric turbulence. A preliminary design for the software and hardware needed to implement the control method in real-time will be developed. MZA has partnered with UCLA (Prof. Gibson) and the University of Notre Dame (Prof. Jumper) for this Phase I program. BENEFIT: Robust adaptive optics compensation of aero-optics and free-stream turbulence for tactical aircraft-based lasers requires predictive control methods which will address performance degradation resulting from finite sample rate of wavefront sensors and the associated latency. Our Phase I program will result in adaptive optics (AO) control techniques which exploit the spatial and temporal properties of the disturbance, enabling reduced bandwidth requirements for sensors supporting these operations. When coupled with flow regularization actuators, the AO control will mitigate shear-layer disturbances associated with aircraft-mounted laser turrets. The result will be robust adaptive optics compensation for aero-optics and free-stream providing higher irradiance on target from directed energy weapon systems and improved bandwidths for laser communication. The enhancement of laser communications will enable robust optical data transfer to and from military and commercial aircraft. Commercial airlines could incorporate such technology into laser transceivers on-board their aircraft so that broadband internet, voice, and entertainment services could be provided in-flight with no interference to aircraft navigation systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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