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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

A tabletop line-of-sight stabilization demonstrator for STEM outreach activities
Author(s): Brennan Taylor; Evan Threlkeld; Tyler Brewer; J. D. Vera Cruz; Matthew Cooper

Paper Abstract

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Laser Division faces the unique challenge of explaining intricate technical problems in its research portfolio to a varied audience, ranging from upper military leadership in control of program funding to young elementary students involved in STEM outreach activities. A team of Lieutenants from Kirtland Air Force Base developed an innovative solution to this challenge with a series of tabletop demos used to visually illustrate some of the key technical challenges and fundamental science the lab is working on. The negative effects of vibration on a laser system is a visually apparent problem and thus jitter was the focus of our first demo. The demo uses a Line-of-Sight Stabilization system to stabilize a vibrating laser beam. This paper will discuss the system design, implementation of the control loop, presentation techniques, and opportunities for expansion. This demo boasts a unique ability to speak to all ages, making it easier to explain key concepts to military leadership at the Pentagon as well as expose students across the USA to STEM challenges. This system is also one of a two-part set. The other, focusing on Adaptive Optics, is discussed in a sister paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111431D (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2521811
Show Author Affiliations
Brennan Taylor, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Evan Threlkeld, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Tyler Brewer, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
J. D. Vera Cruz, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Matthew Cooper, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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