Modeling and Simulation (Technical Expertise)

Modeling and Simulation (Technical Expertise)

Atmospheric Propagation

The effectiveness of laser applications in the field is impacted by atmospheric conditions. To assess the impact of these conditions, the EOC has conducted laser propagation modeling and laboratory and field testing on targets. The numerical results and lessons learned have been critical to the successful demonstration of a Laser Weapon System on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle at significant standoff ranges.

The EOC has substantial experience in the development of systems that require an in depth knowledge of the propagation of light in the atmosphere. The absorption, transmission, diffraction and scattering of light in various atmospheric environments are some of the primary factors that limit system performance, and they must be carefully considered when designing and prototyping systems. Our rich legacy of laser and imaging programs, e.g. high power laser weapons, laser communications, ultra-short laser effects, laser radar and long range surveillance systems, has allowed us to establish significant in-house expertise in modeling the propagation of coherent and incoherent light in the atmosphere. We have also developed laboratory and field testing capabilities to validate the models. Specific areas of expertise include beam propagation, power on target, spatial profiling, wave front modeling, and laser material interactions.

Imaging System Simulation

Numerical analysis and simulation of imaging systems are critical cost saving steps during imaging system development. Our engineers and scientists employ a wide array of commercial and custom software packages to determine expected image quality from theoretical imaging system designs before these systems are prototyped and tested.

Thermal Modeling

The EOC provides thermal management support to help find the best materials and geometry for small devices. With our toolset of finite element software, micro-Raman thermography, infrared imaging, transient thermal testing, thermal conductivity and heat-sink performance, we develop low-cost heat mitigation systems that extend the life of systems and devices.

We analyze how heat is dissipated and research mitigation techniques to help lengthen the lifespan of electro-optic systems. The EOC uses Finite Element Analysis and thermal and mechanical simulation to determine device hot spots and heat dissipation. The simulated data is then combined using empirical tools like micro-raman thermography, infrared imaging, and transient thermal testing to determine feasible and effective means of mitigation. When combined with our device fabrication and testing capabilities, this provides a full spectrum of capabilities that allow us to determine thermal failure modes and designs to improve reliability.

We will continue utilize thermal modeling analyses to determine the best materials for use in our applications. As the proliferation of EO continues to increase and costs continue to grow, it is critical to extend the lifetime and reliability of these devices. Legacy systems often demonstrate short meantime between failure, requiring expensive repair and/or replacement. We will work with our sponsors to identify early instances of failures and use our tools to improve future designs.