30 August 2017 Image blurring due to turbulent wakes for airborne systems: simulation and modeling
Author Affiliations +
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.
Conference Presentation
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yakov Diskin, Yakov Diskin, David Goorskey, David Goorskey, Matthew Whiteley, Matthew Whiteley, Richard Drye, Richard Drye, Nicholas De Lucca, Nicholas De Lucca, Stanislav Gordeyev, Stanislav Gordeyev, Eric Jumper, Eric Jumper, } "Image blurring due to turbulent wakes for airborne systems: simulation and modeling", Proc. SPIE 10408, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VI, 104080N (30 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2275648; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2275648

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