Airborne Aero-Optics Laboratory (retired 2022)
Operation from 2007 to 2022
The objective of the AAOL-BC was to advance the understanding of aero-induced effects — with an emphasis on beam control — through computations, wind-tunnel testing, and subsonic and transonic flight tests. We also provided a flight platform for beam control experiments.
Notre Dame owned two Falcon 10 aircraft with special door and window configurations for turret and beam directors that allow for flight testing events.
We flew them in formation so that our source diverging laser beam propagated approximately 50M to the laboratory aircraft where the laser beam wavefronts could be collected and analyzed.
The story of the AAOL program was summarized by Dr. Jumper in the following SPIE proceedings:
Eric J. Jumper, "The story of the airborne Aero-Optics Laboratory," Proc. SPIE 12239, Unconventional Imaging and Adaptive Optics 2022, 122390G (4 October 2022); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2633693
See the following special edition Optical Engineering Journal issue:
Presentation including overview of some of the findings from this work