Aero-optics effects testing in AEDC wind tunnels. Plemmons, D., Feather, B., Baxter, L., Wilson, R., & Jumper, E. In AIAA 2004-2499, 2004.
Aero-optics effects testing in AEDC wind tunnels [pdf]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Aerodynamic flows around aircraft structures induce density variations in the boundarylayer flows and slipstream. The interaction of these density variations with a laser beam (aero-optics) can severely alter the beam characteristics, making it difficult or impossible to focus laser power on distant objects or transmit laser communications signals from a flight vehicle. Successful development of airborne laser weapons or communications systems will entail the development of adaptive optic or aerodynamic solutions to the corrupting effects of aero-optics. Extensive wind tunnel testing will be required to develop and validate the solutions. The Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) houses wind tunnel facilities that will probably be required for aero-optics testing of large-scale airborne laser systems. AEDC's wind tunnel facilities are complemented by advanced modeling and simulation capabilities. This paper presents an overview of these complementary capabilities as they are applicable to past and future aero-optics testing at AEDC.

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