Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Steven T. Fiorino, PhD


Emerging technology high energy laser (HEL) weapon systems create a myriad of new threats to safety as well as security. One of the primary causes of these concerns is off-axis laser propagation caused by ever-present particulate and molecular scattering medium in the atmosphere. The scatter from these aerosols and molecules can redirect some of the HEL's concentrated energy towards unintended targets such as the eyes of pilots, friendly fighters on the surface, or innocent bystanders. Of particular interest to the laser intelligence (LASINT) community is the possibility that off-axis irradiance from HEL weapon systems could be covertly measured with enough accuracy to provide critical information about HEL weight-power relationships, beam characteristics, and target intelligence information. The purpose of this research is to quantify how much off-axis propagation may occur in specific directions given a set of simulated HEL engagement scenarios involving different HEL characteristics, geometries, and atmospheric conditions. Further simulations assess the amount of information that can be derived about HEL platform characteristics and intended target from remotely measured off-axis intensity via inversion techniques. The High Energy Laser End-to End Operational Simulation (HELEEOS) software package is used to exploit its fast-running scaling law propagation methods and its robust probabilistic atmospheric database.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number