AUTOMATIC LASER TRACKING & POINTING SYSTEM

The Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) , Delhi, has developed an Automatic Automatic laser tracking and pointing systemLaser Tracking and Pointing System (ALPS) , consisting of laser rangefinder (LRF) based auto-focusing cassegrain telescope; a CCD camera based video tracker system for auto-tracking; and a stabilised, 2-axis motorised gimbal platform for real time target acquisition, tracking and pointing. The electro-optic payload consisting of CCD camera, LRF, and focusing telescope, are precisely boresighted to each other. The ALPS has been configured at two different sites: the gimbal site including the platform alongwith its electro-optic payload and servo controller; and operator site comprising of PC for the video tracker along with monitor, the operator control console and miscellaneous power supplies.

A laser based directed energy system not only consists of high power laser source but also includes a sophisticated laser beam delivery mechanism also known as laser beam DIRECTOR. Laser beam DIRECTOR is an optical system which extracts the laser beam from the source and delivers it precisely on to a remote and moving target for an extended period. The laser source, being heavy , is kept stationary and a mirror system with relatively low mass points at the target and automatically tracks it. The emphasis is on the control and transport of the laser power rather than its generation.

The ALPS is designed to acquire and track typical moving targets with a pointing accuracy of 50 rad, not taking into consideration the detrimental effects of atmospheric turbulence. The system is capable of target detection at ranges upto 8 km and identification as well as target lock-on/tracking at 4 km.