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Estimation of laser system pointing performance by use of statistics of return photons

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Abstract

Strategic laser systems are subject to residual pointing errors arising from vibrations and atmospheric turbulence, estimates of which may allow improved system performance. Field data from the Air Force Research Laboratory Floodbeam Experiments suggested a linear relationship between the mean and standard deviation of the shot-by-shot signals and the jitter. An ideal analytic solution and Monte Carlo simulations confirmed this result for a relatively large number of returns. A refined approach using statistical χ2 techniques, which simultaneously estimates jitter and boresight, was developed to address results from satellite passes with relatively few returns and provides excellent jitter and boresight predictions.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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