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Proceedings Paper

Multibeam laser illuminator approach
Author(s): Charles Higgs; Herbert T. Barclay; Kenneth W. Billman
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Paper Abstract

In the conventional approach to active tracking, the target is illuminated by an illuminator laser and the backscatter is collected to produce an image for the tracker. Atmospheric turbulence, especially when it is distributed over the entire propagation path, produces intensity scintillation of the illuminator laser beam. This scintillation reduces the uniformity of target illumination and degrades tracker performance. With multibeam laser illumination the single illuminator is replaced by several, mutually incoherent illuminator beams. The multibeam approach produces a more uniform target image and improves tracker performance. In this paper, we describe the design of a multibeam illuminator capable of producing up to nine beams. We discuss characterization test performed across the 5.4-km propagation range at the Lincoln Laboratory Firepond facility.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 August 1999
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3706, Airborne Laser Advanced Technology II, (3 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.356959
Show Author Affiliations
Charles Higgs, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Herbert T. Barclay, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Kenneth W. Billman, Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space (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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