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Proceedings Paper

Field test of active tracking of a ballistic missile in the boost phase
Author(s): Paul H. Merritt; Mark A. Kramer
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Paper Abstract

The problem of active tracking of a ballistic missile during the boost phase is a very challenging task. The Airborne Laser (ABL) program is interested in this problem in that the ABL may use this technique. The Phillips Laboratory in response to this technical requirement embarked on a project to verify the feasibility of active tracking over a horizontal path through the atmosphere. One of the main efforts in this project was to demonstrate active tracking from a ground site, using the Army's Sea Lite Beam Director at the High Energy Laser System Test Facility on White Sands Missile Range. The project proved very successful, both in verifying technical predictions and in gaining hardware experience in accomplishing the active tracking tasks. This paper will present some of the data and review the results of the active tracking missions. The problems encountered included the power of the illuminator beam, the scintillation on the image of the target, noise due to the imaging camera, and jitter in the atmosphere.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3086, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XI, (23 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277173
Show Author Affiliations
Paul H. Merritt, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)
Mark A. Kramer, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3086:
Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing XI
Michael K. Masten; Larry A. Stockum, Editor(s)

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