Numerical investigation on the ranging performance of forward pulsed laser radar affected by shock waves


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When an aircraft loaded with pulsed laser radar flies at supersonic speed, the laser beam will be distorted by the uneven outflow field, resulting in a significant reduction in ranging accuracy. In this study, the influence mechanism of the shock wave on the performance of forward pulsed laser radar is investigated. First, a novel semi-analytical method is proposed to model the pulsed laser echo wave affected by shock waves, which combines the laser radar equation with optical distortion parameters. Second, an improved ray tracing method based on inverse distance-weighted interpolation with a quadrilateral mesh is proposed to trace the trajectory of the laser beam passing through the flow field, and the effectiveness and superiority of the algorithm are verified. Thereafter, an evaluation method based on the optimal confidence interval is proposed to evaluate the ranging error of pulsed laser radar; which can effectively evaluate the ranging accuracy of pulsed laser radar under the influence of the shock wave. The simulation results show that the ranging performance of pulsed laser radar below Mach 3 is slightly affected, and the detection system error and random error reach the minimum and maximum at Mach 4, respectively. This study provides a theoretical basis for the suppression of the aero-optical effect of forward pulsed laser radar at supersonic speed. (C) 2022 Optica Publishing Group under the terms of the Optica Open Access Publishing Agreement
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