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Optical Engineering

Effects of hypersonic vehicle's optical dome on infrared imaging
Author(s): Zhenjun Zhang; Zhiguo Cao; Wenwu Wang
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Paper Abstract

When an optically guided hypersonic vehicle flies in the atmosphere, the scene is viewed through an optical dome. Because of hypersonic friction with the atmosphere, the optical dome is inevitably covered by a serious shock wave, which threatens to alter the dome's physical parameters and further induce wavefront distortion and degradation of images. By studying the physical phenomena occurring within the optical dome in such an adverse environment, this paper identifies the relationship between the variation of the dome's optical characteristics and the infrared image degradation. The research indicates that the image quality degrades sharply as the vehicle's Mach number increases. Simulations also show that while the thermo-optic effect, elastic-optic effect, thermal deformation, and variation of transmittance have little effect on the optical system, the thermal radiation severely degrades images when vehicles fly at hypersonic speeds

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 50(9) 093201 doi: 10.1117/1.3617453
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 50, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Zhenjun Zhang, Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
Zhiguo Cao, Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology (China)
Wenwu Wang, Huazhong Univ. of Science and Technology (China)


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