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Proceedings Paper

Application Of Electro-Optic Technology To BMD Radars And Data Processors
Author(s): Warren D. Dickinson
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Paper Abstract

Electra-optic technology appears to offer some rather dramatic payoffs to the ballistic missile defense (BMD) radar systems designer. At the current time, however, we are not able to evaluate the magnitude of the potential payoff or even to determine the functions for which electro-optic technology is most applicable. Uncertainties stem from the still embryonic status of coherent optical processing and from the limited number of BMD applications studies. Radar signal processing, the matched filtering of complex waveforms, has received the lion's share of BMD funding for electro-optic processing. The presumption is that an electro-optic processor would replace either a digital or a surface wave signal processor and would offer advantages in cost, weight, or waveform processing capability. The characteristics of coherent optical processors which make them seem most attractive are as follows: (1) Ability to store about one million words of data on a few square inches of surface area, (2) Ability to transform data cheaply by using lenses, (3) Ability to adaptively manipulate data based upon reference functions stored in electro-optic devices. Doubts about electro-optic processors seem to occur primarily in the following areas: (1) Dynamic range seems to be limited to about 40 dB for straightforward intensity storage, and (2) Available electro-optic storage devices/ modulators are generally limited to cycling rates not greatly in excess of 30 cycles per second.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 1977
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0128, Effective Utilization of Optics in Radar Systems, (28 December 1977); doi: 10.1117/12.955983
Show Author Affiliations
Warren D. Dickinson, Ballistic Missile Defense Advanced Technology Center (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0128:
Effective Utilization of Optics in Radar Systems
Bernard W. Vatz, Editor(s)

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