Boeing Receives Phase II Contract for High Power Adaptive Optic System
Boeing has received a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense's High Energy Laser - Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO) to continue development of a prototype High Power Adaptive Optic system. The objective of this follow-on, 15-month contract is to apply adaptive optic technology to high energy laser tactical systems. The value of this contract is not being disclosed.
Traditional "adaptive optics" was originally developed for use in astronomers' telescopes to correct for the blurry image that occurs when wind or other turbulence distorts wavelengths of light from a star or other astronomical object. Similarly, the objective of the High Power Adaptive Optic system is to minimize atmospheric distortion in order to increase the amount of energy, in this case laser energy applied to a target.
"By minimizing the distortion of a laser beam, much like telescopes can take the ‘twinkle’ out of the stars, we can increase the amount of energy on a specific target. This very small, lightweight Adaptive Optic system will enhance both the range and the power of tactical laser weapons," said Mike Rinn, Boeing Directed Energy Systems vice president and program director.