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The Airborne Optical Systems Testbed (AOSTB)

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Technical Report

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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States

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Over the last two decades MIT Lincoln Laboratory MITLL has pioneered the development of enabling technologies and systems for high-sensitivity, photon-counting, scanning three-dimensional imaging laser radar 3D ladar. Examples include the ALIRT mapping and MACHETE foliage-penetrating ladars. While these and other systems have been transitioned to operation, there is a need to maintain a testbed for novel phenomenology investigation and validation of new sensor architectures. To that end, MITLL has developed an airborne optical system testbed AOSTB that is re-configurable, allows for roll-on roll-off capability, and can accommodate multiple sensors on a low-operating-cost Twin Otter aircraft. AOSTB mission areas include wide-area down looking high-resolution imaging, side-looking and up-looking laser ranging and tracking, and sensor fusion with EOIR cameras and hyperspectral payloads. We describe the AOSTB ladar system, present recently collected airborne down and side-look 3D data, and discuss testbed configurations that can support various defense and non-DoD applications.

Subject Categories:

  • Lasers and Masers
  • Optics

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