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Proceedings Paper

Performance of laser tracking of small targets during turbulence and beam jitter
Author(s): Ove Steinvall
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Paper Abstract

Small target detection and tracking are important for laser radars in many applications such as Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM), fire control, target recognition and free space laser communications. The detection and tracking performance is depending on the mode of detection, signal to noise ratio, target signal statistics, beam jitter and turbulence induced intensity variations. We will show results of the rms tracking error vs SNR primarily for direct detection systems. For the general case of a certain signal and noise probability density functions (pdf) it is hard to obtain analytical solutions for the mean and variances of the estimates for the rms tracking error. We have therefore used numerical simulations to illustrate how the pdf and SNR will affect the tracking accuracy. A manifold of gamma functions and other pdf:s can be used to characterize the signal distributions to get a first hand on tracking performance. The results are presented as tracking errors vs the angular spot size of the laser beam in the tracking detector plane. We have also investigated the beam optimization problem for target detection and “power in bucket”, that is maximizing the laser energy at the target. We find that there are optimum beam sizes (w) vs. the rms jitter (σ) and that optimum w/σ (minimizing the false alarm rate for a given detection probability Pd) typically fall in the region 1-3 depending on probability of detection and the representative pdf for the application in mind.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2003
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 5086, Laser Radar Technology and Applications VIII, (21 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484810
Show Author Affiliations
Ove Steinvall, Swedish Defence Research Agency (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5086:
Laser Radar Technology and Applications VIII
Gary W. Kamerman, Editor(s)

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