Critical EO Technology Development for Next Generation Autonomous Weapon Guidance

Period of Performance: 04/27/1999 - 01/28/2000

$77.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

H. N. Burns Engineering Corp.
3275 Progress Drive Suite A
Orlando, FL 32826
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Traditional imaging laser radar (IRL) systems perform a variety of mission-critical functions, including target detection and recognition, and precision weapon delivery. The recent decade has produced significant advances in ILR capabilities. New components, such as diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers and InGaAs avalanche photodetectors (APDs), have enabled construction of compact, high-performance ILRs that operate at eye-safe wavelengths. There have been significant advances in related support technology such as fiber optics, high-speed microelectronics, and diffractive optics. These advances present opportunities to expand the conventional role of IRLs. The new high pulse repetition frequency (PRF) lasers and high performance multichannel optical receivers can provide convert communication, formation station keeping, collision avoidance, threat warning, and automated landing capabilities. Multichannel, fiber-optic "backbones" can connect a single central optical processor to multiple, perimeter-distributed conformal apertures. The Phase I research will focus on a multichannel, fiber optic, signal distribution scheme. We will apply a variation of this basic concept to a compact focal plan scanner. We will investigate a new concept for a compact lens system, with consideration of replicated diffractive optics to further reduce the weight and cost. Our goal is to develop a versatile, robust, active IR system architecture, along with several critical components for the next generation autonomous laser-guided weapons.