Multiaperture Tracking and Designation Systme

Period of Performance: 05/04/1998 - 02/04/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Coherent Technologies, Inc.
135 S. Taylor Avenue,
Louisville, CO 80027
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Distributed aperture ladar systems with centralized transmitters and receivers promise increased functionality with reduced cost, weight and volume. Such multiaperture architectures are anticipated to provide 4(pi) steradian coverage with unprecedented capabilities on airborne platforms. However, two primary technical hurdles prevent realization of a first-generation system. One is finding an acceptable means of delivering high energy (0.1 to 10 J) 10-ns class laser pulses to the remote ports with near-diffraction limited wavefronts. The other is to provide rapid, precision pointing of the laser and receiver fields-of-view. To meet these challenges, CTI proposes to implement an innovative beam transport, forming and control network. This "optical backbone" utilizes linear and nonlinear optical devices coupled to unconventional flexible waveguides. The novel beam transport system offers higher power handling capabilities over a wider wavelength ranges than optical fibers. The linear and nonlinear beam control devices are based upon innovative applications of existing technologies. Quantitiative analyses and laboratory measurements of the components will be performed in Phase I. A design for Phase II hardware will be generated taking into account top-level system specifications and the requirement for an upward-compatible, open architecutre. Coupling this optical backbone to CTI's flight-worthy systems expertise will ensure technical feasibility in Phase II.