Optical EngineeringDerivation of alignment tolerances for military laser systems
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Pointing errors can compromise the performance of laser systems and cause numerous operational problems. Alignment tolerances for a generic electro-optical system comprising a laser are derived from first principles. The method applies to a sizeable class of problems but is particularly relevant to military applications such as laser target designation and rangefinding. It yields exact or conservative estimates in most cases of practical interest. Various results are explored from the point of view of employment methods and military deployment.