Environmentally Clean Beam Path Conditioning Development

Period of Performance: 04/20/1994 - 01/10/1995


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Southeast Research Assoc.
1809 Ardley Road
Juno Isles, FL 33408
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Southeast Research Associates (SRA) proposes a program that will develop the art of Beam Path Conditioning Systems (BPCS) in providing an environmentally clean approach applicable to optical imaging and energy projection systems. Such BPCS development would permit the understanding and minimization of aero-optical phenomena induced aberrations in optical systems. BPCS requirements will be formulated from evaluation of existing DoD and privately developed aero-optical models using a Systems Engineering approach and computer simulation. Developed BPC designs and concepts would be relatively simple to implement, provide an environmentally clean design, provide access to optical components, and would offer reduced acoustically driven beam jitter. The proposed program would simulate such aero-optical disturbances as thermal boundary layers at optical surfaces and thermally driven optical path density variations and parametrically evaluate BPC concepts that minimize such disturbance effects. Two key trades will be performed in the baseline selection process, the selection of an optimal BPC gas and the selection of the gas circulating concept. An optimal BPCS design will be formulated. Performance enhancement predictions will be made and provide visibility on the potential and significance of this technology, providing a basis for continued development through Phase II sponsorhsip.