The ALMDS (Airborne Laser Mine Detection System) has been developed utilizing a solid-state laser operating at 532nm for naval mine detection. The laser system is integrated into a pod that mounts externally on a helicopter. This laser, along with other receiver systems, enables detailed underwater bathymetry. CEO designs and manufactures the laser portion of this system. Arete Associates integrates the laser system into the complete LIDAR package that utilizes sophisticated streak tube detection technology. Northrop Grumman is responsible for final pod integration. The laser sub-system is comprised of two separate parts: the LTU (Laser Transmitter Unit) and the LEU (Laser Electronics Unit). The LTU and LEU are undergoing MIL-STD-810 testing for vibration, shock, temperature storage and operation extremes, as well as MIL-STD-704E electrical power testing and MIL-STD-461E EMI testing. The Nd:YAG MOPA laser operates at 350 Hz pulse repetition frequency at 45 Watts average 532nm power and is controlled at the system level from within the helicopter. Power monitor circuits allow real time laser health monitoring, which enables input parameter adjustments for consistent laser behavior.
Lite Cycles has developed a new type of range-gated, LIDAR sensing element based on Raman image amplification in a solid-state optical crystal. Marine Raman Image Amplification (MARIA) is a feasible technology for producing high-resolution imagery in an underwater environment. MARIA is capable of amplifying low-level optical images with gains up to 106 with the addition of only quantum-limited noise. The high gains available from MARIA can compensate for low quantum efficiency detectors. The range-gate of MARIA is controlled by the pulsewidth of the amplifier pump laser and can be made as short as 30 - 100 cm, using pump pulses of 2 - 6.7 nsec FWHM. The use of MARIA in an imaging LIDAR system has been shown to result in higher SNR images throughout a broad range of incident light levels, in contrast to the increasing noise factor occurring with reduced gain in ICCDs. The imaging resolution of MARIA in the marine environment can be superior to images produced by a laser line scan or standard range-gated imaging system. MARIA is also superior in rejecting unwanted sunlight background, further increasing the SNR of images. MARIA has the potential of providing the best overall system resolution and SNR, making it ideal for the identification of mine-like objects, even in bright sunlight conditions.
Lite Cycles has developed a new type of eye-safe, range-gated, lidar sensing element based on Solid-state Raman Image Amplification (SSRIA) in a solid-state optical crystal. SSRIA can amplify low-level infrared images with gains greater than 106 with the addition of only quantum-limited noise. The high gains from SSRIA can compensate for low quantum efficiency detectors and can reduce the need for detector cooling. The range-gate of SSRIA is controlled by the pulsewidth of the pump laser and can be as short as 30 - 100 cm for nanosecond pulses and less than 5 mm if picosecond pulses are used. SSRIA results in higher SNR images throughout a broad range of incident light levels, in contrast to the increasing noise factor with reduced gain in image intensified CCDs. A theoretical framework for the optical resolution of SSRIA is presented and it is shown that SSRIA can produce higher resolution than ICCDs. SSRIA is also superior in rejecting unwanted sunlight background, further increasing image SNR, and can be used for real-time optical signal processing. Applications for military use include eye-safe imaging lidars that can be used for autonomous vehicle identification and targeting.
The design and performance of a short-pulse (1.5 ns), high- energy (90 mJ/pulse) nonlinear cavity-dumped, frequency- doubled, solid-state intracavity Raman laser is presented. The laser described is utilized as the transmitter in a high- resolution surf-zone marine imaging lidar system.
The tracking performance of advanced technology telescopes is presently predicted by a time-domain nonlinear control model which incorporates the complex frequency-dependent transfer characteristics of a type II servosystem, including (1) rate and acceleration feedforward, (2) gimbal-drive motors, (3) motor power amplifiers, (4) mechanical drivetrain, (5) telescope structure, and (6) encoders. Disturbances generated by bearing friction, drive motor magnetic cogging, drive motor friction and torque constant variations, wind loads, etc, are included to enhance the accuracy of tracking error predictions under operating conditions. The model is useful in both initial design studies and the evaluation of proposed design modifications.