Phase-Only Correction of Scintillated Laser Beams: Downrange Experimental Results
PHILLIPS LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM
Pagination or Media Count:
Results of Horizontal Propagation Experiment HoPe that was performed at the Phillips Laboratory Starfire Optical Range are presented. In this experiment, a laser beam was phase corrected using an adaptive optics system located at the transmitting site and focused toward a target located two miles away. Irradiance patterns of the corrected and uncorrected beam were recorded at the target site. Weather and atmospheric turbulence characteristics along the optical path were recorded at the same time. Strehl ratios calculated from the recorded images show that phase-only correction of a horizontally propagated laser beam can significantly improve the energy collected on-axis even under strongly scintillated conditions. Time-averaged Strehl ratios were improved by as much as a factor of five. Improvements in strehl for varying turbulence conditions and the effect of hardware limitations on the results are discussed.
- Lasers and Masers