Dayton OH June 17, 2013 – Optonicus has received Phase 1 SBIR funding from the US Air Force to develop a new fiber array laser beam director system based on a scalable clustered architecture. The Optonicus modular technology significantly reduces size, weight, and electrical power (SWaP) required in a laser beam director, allowing the Air Force to place a new generation of high energy laser (HEL) projection systems on airborne platforms.
Within the Advanced Phased Array for Conformal, High Energy (APACHE) approach, each of the system subapertures modules is composed of multiple adaptive beamlet elements. The modules can then be clustered to deliver a phased combined beam that scales to tens of kilowatts (kW) total power to target with integrated capabilities for high bandwidth electronic beam steering and jitter mitigation.
The Optonicus fiber array cluster is also designed to meet the vibration and jitter requirements of an airborne platform. Platform vibration-induced beam jitter is mitigated using active/adaptive stabilization of the individual beamlets with a multi-tiered control system, instead of the approach used in conventional HEL systems, where the entire HEL beam director platform is stabilized.