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Proceedings Paper

Airborne laser experiment (ABLEX): theory and simulations
Author(s): Robert Russell Butts; Lawrence D. Weaver
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Paper Abstract

A series of experiments was conducted in January 1993 in which a pulsed laser beam was propagated from one aircraft to a receiver on board another aircraft. At the receiver, the resulting turbulence-induced scintillation patterns across an 80-cm aperture were recorded. The measured irradiance patterns were used to infer the fundamental performance limits imposed by turbulence-induced amplitude scintillation on imaging systems and laser transmitters employing adaptive optics to perform phase-only compensation. From the data, point and aperture-averaged scintillation statistics and amplitude correlation functions were also obtained. We describe the theoretical basis for the measurements. A theoretical analysis, applicable in the weak scintillation regime, is presented. Predictions based on wave optics computer simulations are also presented, and comparisons of the empirical results with the analysis and simulation predictions are shown. The methodology used to analyze the data recorded during the ABLEX tests is also detailed a description of the experiment and a discussion of the results obtained are presented in a companion paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 June 1994
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 2120, Laser Beam Propagation and Control, (8 June 1994);
Show Author Affiliations
Robert Russell Butts, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)
Lawrence D. Weaver, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2120:
Laser Beam Propagation and Control
Hugo Weichel; Lewis F. DeSandre, Editor(s)

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