Air Force Awards Phase 1 STTR to Optonicus for Subaperture Wavefront Sensing within Fiber Phased-Array Systems

Dayton OH December 12, 2012 - Optonicus received Phase I STTR funding from the US Air Force to develop a new approach to subaperture wavefront sensing for optical fiber phase-array systems used in directed energy, astronomy, and lasercom applications. The intelligent optics system will use a fiber laser array as the spatial phase correction system within the subaperture of an array of discrete telescopes. The design is scalable to accommodate aircraft boundary layer disturbances and moderate atmospheric disturbances.

Recent advances in laser array systems, consisting of discrete telescopes, are driving subapertures to larger diameter sizes. In addition to the inter-subaperture phasing between subapertures, this requires highly advanced intra-subaperture phase conjugation in order to control the atmospheric phase distortions.

Optonicus will design and build the architecture for such a subaperture, to provide a means for beaconless intra-subaperture phase sensing and control. Optonicus was awarded the grant for its unique expertise in intelligent optical systems and fiber phased-array systems development, delivering high performance in harsh operating environments.