Automatic Laser Field Test Instrument

Period of Performance: 04/23/1998 - 04/23/2000

$745K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Pacific-sierra Research Corp.
2901 28th St Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Pacific-Sierra Research Corp (PSR) proposes to fabricate a pre-production prototype automatic laser field test instrument for flight line testing of laser systems. The proposed man-portable instrument, called the Laser Instrument for Field Testing (LIFT), will automatically characterize pulsed or continuous wave (CW) lasers with wavelengths between 400 and 1700 nm, all pulse widths, all polarization's, and power (energy) between 1 mW (or 1 mJ) and 40 W (1 J), including Q-switched and modelocked lasers. The laser beam diameter, pulse width, divergence angle, power/energy, and energy distribution are all measured and recorded. The system will also calculate the nominal hazard distance. The unique beam director allows the high resolution beam dissector to be automatically aligned to the laser system under test without complex to tedious alignment. The measurement procedure takes only a few minutes and can be performed by non-expert personnel. Laser power/energy and pulse width are automatically measured by detectors of the appropriate wavelength response. LIFT will be battery powered, use no consumables, and require no field site support. The imbedded computer will collect, analyze and display the data, as well as provide a go/no-go recommendation. Proven concepts, techniques, and experience are described, which show that the proposed instrument is practical. Finally, the LIFT shares common parts to proven PSR man-portable, field test instruments, reducing the development cost and risk.