High-Fidelity Simulation of Missile Laser/Plume Radiation Transport

Period of Performance: 08/06/2003 - 04/06/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spectral Sciences, Inc.
4 Fourth Avenue Array
Burlington, MA 01803
Principal Investigator


Lasers are being considered for several functions in boost-phase missile defense systems, including interceptor to ground communication, and detection of the missile hardbody. Exhaust plumes can attenuate and scatter laser light, interfering with the function of the laser systems. Spectral Sciences, Inc. proposes to develop a high fidelity physics-based model of laser-plume and hardbody interactions, based on our Monte Carlo hyperspectral synthetic scene generation toolkit, MCScene. This model, designated "MCScene with Plume Simulation" (MCScene-PluS), will extend existing radiative-transfer algorithms for 3D cloud and gas plume problems, adding innovations specific to treatment of high-temperature, high-velocity flows. In Phase I, we will formulate an overall approach to the laser-missile interaction problem, including Doppler effects, molecular absorption by hot plume gases, plume particulate optics, refraction due to plume temperature and density gradients, and laser-hardbody interaction. We will implement the Doppler effects for plume particulate scattering, and will demonstrate the feasibility of the model with calculations for a test scenario using a high altitude solid-fuel missile plume. Phase II will extend the model, adding new physics for refraction and molecular absorption, and enhance the user interface with expanded Input/Output capabilities. MCScene-PluS will address both military and commercial market needs for radiative transport scene simulators to develop algorithms for and validate the performance of both active and passive remote sensing systems. In particular, the incorporation of the Plume Simulation capabilities into MCScene will facilitate the development and validation of active systems such as LIDAR, as well as sensor systems that operate in a dynamic scene environment. The range of applications includes battlespace surveillance, target detection and identification, and technical intelligence, as well as toxic gas and aerosol, pollutant, and fugitive emission monitoring.