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Proceedings Paper

Image blurring due to turbulent wakes for airborne systems: simulation and modeling
Author(s): Yakov Diskin; David Goorskey; Matthew Whiteley; Richard Drye; Nicholas De Lucca; Stanislav Gordeyev; Eric Jumper
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Paper Abstract

We present our findings from a modeling and simulation effort in which we analyzed the imaging performance of a turreted laser beam director/telescope on a transonic aircraft platform. We used real wavefront sensor (WFS) data collected by the Airborne Aero-Optics Laboratory-Transonic (AAOL-T) test platform at Mach 0.8. Using these WFS data, we quantified the imaging point spread function (PSF) for a variety of line-of-sight (LOS) angles. The LOS angle values sweep from forward-looking angles, through the shock wave to backward-looking angles, imaging through the turbulent wake. Our simulation results show Strehl ratios from 4% to 50% with substantial scattering of energy out to many times larger than the diffraction-limited core. For each LOS angle, we analyzed the imaging modulation transfer function (MTF) which showed a rapid reduction of contrast for low-to-mid range spatial frequencies. We reaffirm that practical limits to usable spatial frequencies require higher imaging signal to noise ratio in the presence of aero-optical disturbances at high Mach number. The presented MTF analysis speaks to the degradation of image-contrast-based tracking algorithms that rely on an illuminator laser propagating through aero-optical aberrations. In conclusion, we discuss the AAOL-T imaging flight test campaigns and the anticipated imaging performance of AAOL-T turret.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 August 2017
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 10408, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VI, 104080N (30 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2275648
Show Author Affiliations
Yakov Diskin, MZA Associates Corp. (United States)
David Goorskey, MZA Associates Corp. (United States)
Matthew Whiteley, MZA Associates Corp. (United States)
Richard Drye, MZA Associates Corp. (United States)
Nicholas De Lucca, Univ. of Notre Dame (United States)
Stanislav Gordeyev, Univ. of Notre Dame (United States)
Eric Jumper, Univ. of Notre Dame (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10408:
Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VI
Jeremy P. Bos; Alexander M. J. van Eijk; Stephen M. Hammel, Editor(s)

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