Laser beam propagation through turbulence and adaptive optics for beam delivery improvement
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We report results from numerical simulations of laser beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence. In particular, we study the statistical variations of the fractional beam energy hitting inside an optical aperture placed at several kilometer distance. The simulations are performed for different turbulence conditions and engagement ranges, with and without the use of turbulence mitigation. Turbulence mitigation is simulated with phase conjugation. The energy fluctuations are deduced from time sequence realizations. It is shown that turbulence mitigation leads to an increase of the mean energy inside the aperture and decrease of the fluctuations even in strong turbulence conditions and long distance engagement. As an example, the results are applied to a high energy laser countermeasure system, where we determine the probability that a single laser pulse, or one of the pulses in a sequence, will provide a lethal energy inside the target aperture. Again, turbulence mitigation contributes to increase the performance of the system at long-distance and for strong turbulence conditions in terms of kill probability. We also discuss a specific case where turbulence contributes to increase the pulse energy within the target aperture. The present analysis can be used to evaluate the performance of a variety of systems, such as directed countermeasures, laser communication, and laser weapons.
Nicolas, Stephane. Laser beam propagation through turbulence and adaptive optics for beam delivery improvement. Proceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering 2015 ;Volum 9641.