Adaptive Optics System for Ultra-short Pulse Lasers (USPL)

Period of Performance: 07/01/2013 - 06/30/2014

$734K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Optical Physics Company
26610 Agoura Road Array
Calabasas, CA 91302
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Optical Physics Company (OPC) has developed a turbulence-compensated USPL system which can propagate and control USPL pulses in tactically relevant scenarios. This design substantially mitigates the disruptive influence of turbulence and includes two independent methods for controlling the precise range of filamentation. The adaptive optic correction and the filamentation control are both closed loop, and can correct for variations in temperature, pressure, and water vapor along the path. This design was evaluated for sensitivity and performance using both solutions to differential equations and using extremely high fidelity wave-optic simulation. These tools allowed sensitivity evaluations to be made resulting in a robust system design as well as a rigorously scaled field experiment that will match operational parameters. An affordable and low risk field test was designed using an existing USPL system from PM&AM as well as existing adaptive optic components available from other contracts. During the Phase I option, a detailed design of the Phase II prototype will be completed and a Critical Design Review (CDR) will be conducted. Then during the Phase II effort that follows, the OPC-PM&AM Research team will build and demonstrate the Phase II Prototype in the laboratory and field, bringing the technical maturity to TRL 5.