Laser Beamrider Detection System

Period of Performance: 06/22/1998 - 06/22/2000

$793K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Princeton Scientific Instruments, Inc.
7 Deer Park Drive,, Suite C
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

Advances in laser weapons constitute a real threat to military aircraft. Detection of incident laser beam illumination early enough to allow countermeasures is vital. This proposal addresses this most difficult problem, detecting pulsed laser illumination against bright daylight backgrounds over a wide field of view. An image sensor is proposed capable of ultra fast frame rates to reduce the ambient background signal to acceptable level without attenuating the pulsed laser related signal. The results of Phase I are very positive in that it appears that, using the proposed high speed, smart-focal-plane concept, lasers illuminating an aircraft can be detected at low incident flux levels and with a sufficiently high signal to noise ratio that the false alarn rate will be low. The design and layout of the "smart pixel" completed in Phase I shows that the laser pulse detection function can be implemented in a CCD type image sensor. The relatively small dimensions of the detector/lens assembly are comparable with the practical constraints in mounting on an aircraft and four such detector assemblies would provide excellent surveillance of ground based lasers. In Phase II, a prototype detector system will be built, evaluated and delivered to the NAWC Aircraft Division.