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Ground-Based Laser Beam Control Technology (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The overall goal of the Ground-Based Laser (GBL) Beam Control thrust is to develop and transition advanced optical systems and technologies for laser propagation applications.

(U) This includes efforts to:
- (U) Establish the technology base for atmospheric compensation for applications such as GBL for incorporation into systems in the late 90's and for planned improvements in the 2002 time frame.
- (U) Develop and demonstrate critical optical acquisition, tracking, and pointing technology for high energy laser systems to stabilize and point the beam to a selected aimpoint and to stabilize the image plane for optical imaging applications such as space object identification.
- (U) Develop and demonstrate key high energy laser optical component technologies to enable advanced weapon applications.
- (U) Develop and validate the modeling and simulation tools needed for accurate performance and mission effectiveness assessments.

Description (U):

(U) This sub-thrust includes technologies for adaptive optics, highly-accurate target acquisition and tracking, precision beam pointing for aimpoint control, and high quality optical components. A major effort under this thrust is the development and demonstration of weapon-class beam control technology for both ground-based and airborne laser systems. Many activities in this thrust converge to full-scale demonstrations of GBL beam control technologies in FY00.

(U) These demonstrations will be conducted on the new 3.5m telescope, which was activated at SOR in early FY94. This telescope and the associated adaptive optics hardware are central to the planned demonstration of integrated beam control technology for ground-based laser applications.

(U) High bandwidth, passive tracking of satellites was initially demonstrated on the 1.5m telescope at SOR in early FY94. In FY96 a near-infrared illuminator laser device will be installed at SOR to support high accuracy active tracking field experiments. Work in parallel on tracker upgrades and aim point designation and control algorithms will be incorporated, leading to full-scale, low power field tests of acquisition, tracking, and pointing technology appropriate for GBL applications in FY98-9. In this case, the performance metrics are the residual tracking error and the beam pointing accuracy which can be achieved against realistic satellite targets. The final demonstrations for GBL beam control will emphasize integrated performance of the overall beam control system, including all of the functions necessary for a satellite engagement (acquisition, tracking, pointing, and atmospheric compensation). The goal is to demonstrate integrated performance which meets the requirements for a full-scale GBL system, thereby establishing the maturity of beam control technology for these applications. These integrated demonstrations will be completed in FY00.

User Impact (U):

(U) To be supplied.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Concept/Technology.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U):
Army Kinetic Energy Kill VehicleArmy Kinetic Energy Kill Vehicle
LEO Hard Kill ASATLow Earth Orbit (LEO) Hard Kill ASAT
Space-Based LaserSpace-Based Laser (SBL)
This Table Is Unclassified.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Beam ControlBeam Control
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

1997 Force Applications MAP
RDT&E Budget Item Project 3326
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 21 November 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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