31 May 1994 Point-ahead-compensated illumination tests using the 500-channel Innovative Science and Technology Experimental Facility adaptive optics system
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Abstract
In a program with the Office of Naval Research and the Innovative Science and Technology directorate of BMDO, we have designed, built and tested a large adaptive optical system for the correction of a visible wavelength laser beam. A visible artificial laser guide star (frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser with wavelength of 0.532 micrometers ) is used as the source for the reference wavefront. A shearing interferometer which uses a narrow optical bandwidth and has 500 subapertures is employed to sense wavefront distortion. The sensor is used to control a 500-segment deformable mirror which is integrated with a 1 m telescope. In this paper, we will present results for the first known compensated laser illumination tests of an uncooperative low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite using an active point ahead mirror. The results of these tests using a first generation low-power laser beacon at D/ro equals 25 show improvement of over a factor of 5 in peak energy at the diffraction limited resolution of 0.1 arc sec for stellar images. The amount of light reflected from a large, diffuse LEO satellite was improved by a factor of approximately 2 using the adaptive optical system. In the Spring of 1994, a custom, high powered illuminator laser will be implemented to facilitate novel active tracking and imaging applications.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael J. LeFebvre, Edward Louis Cuellar, Grady L. Taylor, Steven M. Stahl, Todd K. Barrett, David G. Sandler, "Point-ahead-compensated illumination tests using the 500-channel Innovative Science and Technology Experimental Facility adaptive optics system", Proc. SPIE 2201, Adaptive Optics in Astronomy, (31 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176071; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.176071
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