7 September 2001 Precision conformal optics technology program
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Conformal optics are defined as optics that deviate from conventional form to best satisfy the contour and shape needs of system platforms. Precision Conformal Optics Technology (PCOT), a comprehensive 48 month program funded by the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA) and the U. S. Army Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (MRDEC), assessed the potential benefits achieved by use of conformal optics on a variety of U.S. weapon systems. Also addressed were all barriers impeding conformal optics use. The PCOT program was executed by a consortium of organizations ranging from major U.S. defense prime contractors, to small businesses, and academia. The diversity of organizations encouraged synergy across a broad array of skills and perspectives. Smooth team interaction was made possible by the 845 contractual structure of the program. Benefits identified by the PCOT consortium included major reductions in aerodynamic drag (by as much as 50%), reduced time-to-targets (by as much as 60%), and reduced weapon signatures. Impediments addressed included inadequacies in optical design tools, optical manufacturing methods and equipment, optical testing, and system integration. The PCOT program was successfully completed with a demonstration of a highly contoured missile dome, which reduced overall missile drag by 25%, and led to a predicted twofold increase in missile range.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Patrick A. Trotta, "Precision conformal optics technology program", Proc. SPIE 4375, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VII, (7 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.439165; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.439165


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