A maximum-likelihood estimator used to determine boresight and jitter performance
of a laser pointing system has been derived. The estimator is based
on a Gaussian jitter model and uses a Gaussian far-field irradiance profile.
The estimates are obtained using a set of return shots from the intended
target. An experimental setup with a He–Ne laser and steering mirrors is
used to study the performance of the proposed method. Both Monte Carlo
simulations and experimental results demonstrate excellent performance of
the estimator. Our study shows that boresight estimation is more challenging
than jitter estimation when both quantities are estimated. Furthermore, their
estimation performance improves with an increase in the number of shots.
The experimental results are found to agree well with the simulation
© 2006 Optical Society of America
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