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Proceedings Paper

ABL beam control laboratory demonstrator
Author(s): Kenneth W. Billman; John A. Breakwell; Richard B. Holmes; Kalyan Dutta; Zachary A. Granger; Terry J. Brennan; Bryan L. Kelchner
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Paper Abstract

The ABL Lockheed Martin has prepared and validated a highly versatile adaptive optics testbed to simulate in an accurately scaled fashion all aspects of ABL laser beam propagation, including atmospheric compensation and pointing and tracking in selected atmospheres. This system allows repetitive, highly controlled, and well diagnosed experiments to be carried out that are generally impossible to do in field test where the user has little control over atmospheric and other test conditions. Testing of beam control hardware including components, assemblies, control loops and software, as well as development of methodology such as alignment and sensor techniques, determinations of system operational robustness, and finally, measurement of overall system performance under various atmospheric or other propagation and seeing conditions are routinely done. This presentation will discuss 1) the system scaling chosen to preserve diffraction, turbulence and temporal fidelity to ABL, 2) agreement of experiment results to those of other laser propagation experiments and wave optic code simulations, and 3) experiments that have demonstrated ABL beam control system robustness, compensation for jitter and turbulence, and overall performance when operating in atmospheric turbulence that emulates that measured in the real-world theater.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 August 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3706, Airborne Laser Advanced Technology II, (3 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.356954
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth W. Billman, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space (United States)
John A. Breakwell, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space (United States)
Richard B. Holmes, NUTRONICS, Inc. (United States)
Kalyan Dutta, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space (United States)
Zachary A. Granger, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space (United States)
Terry J. Brennan, The Optical Sciences Co. (United States)
Bryan L. Kelchner, U.S. Air Force ABL SPO (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3706:
Airborne Laser Advanced Technology II
Todd D. Steiner; Paul H. Merritt, Editor(s)

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