Abstract

We present a mathematical model and provide an analysis of optical beam director systems composed of adaptive arrays of fiber collimators (subapertures), referred to here as conformal optical systems. Performances of the following two system architectures are compared: A conformal-beam director with mutually incoherent output laser beams transmitted through fiber collimators (beamlets), and a corresponding coherent system whose beamlets can be coherently combined (phase locked) at a remote target plane. The effect of the major characteristics of the conformal systems on the efficiency of laser beam projection is evaluated both analytically and through numerical simulations. The characteristics considered here are the number of fiber collimators and the subaperture and conformal aperture fill factors, as well as the accuracy of beamlet pointing.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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