12 July 1983 Endoatmospheric Laser Arrays For Thermal Blooming Environments
Author Affiliations +
Proceedings Volume 0410, Laser Beam Propagation in the Atmosphere; (1983) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.935765
Event: 1983 Technical Symposium East, 1983, Arlington, United States
The deployment of high energy lasers for endoatmospheric applications has been seriously hampered by the deleterious effects of thermal blooming on laser beam propagation. Early attempts to overcome these limitations involved altering the intensity distribution and/or obscuration of the exit aperture, a technique known as aperture intensity profile tailoring. A more promising approach to remedy propagation distortions has been the use of coherent optical adaptive techniques (COAT). Although this approach will compensate for turbulence as well, there are several problems involved in utilizing this technique for severe thermal blooming environments. These difficulties include performance improvement limitations due to near-target distortions, multi-glint sensing problems, and cost/complexity considerations. The apparent lack of a cost/performance effective approach to thermal blooming control led to this investigation of a multiple aperture construct (MAC) approach. The concept employs small discrete subapertures in place of a large single aperture to reduce thermal blooming effects in the target region. Preliminary calculations indicate that subunit phase control is not essential to achieving adequate performance. Wave-optics computer codes were used to study key performance parameters in addition to predicting target irradiances for several simple system models. The implication of this initial study is that multiaperture systems can be configured to achieve comparable or improved (~ 30%) performance levels as monolithic systems, but with smaller less costly optical elements.
© (1983) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Neil C. Schoen, Neil C. Schoen, Daniel E. Novoseller, Daniel E. Novoseller, "Endoatmospheric Laser Arrays For Thermal Blooming Environments", Proc. SPIE 0410, Laser Beam Propagation in the Atmosphere, (12 July 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.935765; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.935765

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