A systems study of air-to-ground laser operations : statistical modelling of laser energy distribution in the transient regime
Flemming, Brian Keith
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Laser target designators have been used for precision guidance purposes for many years. High energy laser devices are also being developed for tactical operations. Both are examples of Class 4 devices that can produce hazardous laser output. A triangular system-risk model links system performance, the operational demand and the potential hazards associated with the system operation, and which provides the basis for a system-level probabilistic risk assessment analysis. An extension of the risk assessment model includes contextual information as an additional risk element. A decomposition model, comprising a linear combination of irradiance basis vectors based on transverse Hermite-Gaussian modes, is developed using multiple linear regression modelling for the analysis of transient mode laser output. A linear predictive mixture distribution for a multiplicative scintillation gain factor is developed from simulated optical turbulence modelling. A spatial analysis using techniques from computational topology shows an approximately uniform distribution of high scintillation gain values over the sample surface pro le. A statistical analysis of level set critical points provides a more detailed characterisation of the scintillation gain variability. The combined decomposition and scintillation gain modelling provides a `subsystemlevel' performance analysis within the overall risk assessment context.