×

Capabilities

Guidestar Optical Systems is a premier supplier of advanced optical systems and technologies.  The company has identified the main markets for our technologies: free space laser communication systems, high energy laser weapon systems, surveillance and reconnaissance at long standoff ranges, and atmospheric measurement and forecasting.

Adaptive Optics Systems
We provide adaptive optics systems that correct for atmospheric distortions, improving performance of optical systems used for various applications.
Atmospheric Measuring & Forecast
With our measurement & forecasting capabilities, knowledge of the atmospheric conditions informs assessments of the effectiveness of system operations and provides decision support for alternatives. 
Image Processing
Our advanced image processing capabilities improve the quality of observations, resulting in better information to support operational decisions.

Adaptive Optics Systems

​When a laser beam is propagated a long distance through the atmosphere, it becomes distorted.  For free space laser communication systems, this limits the bandwidth and distance of the link.  For high energy laser weapons, this reduces the effective kill range of the weapon.

An adaptive optics system precisely measures the atmospheric distortion and uses this measurement to correct the distortion.  The adaptive optics systems developed by Guidestar Optical Systems correct for the errors that degrade performance, and have been proven to increase the range, bandwidth, and reliability of free space optical communication systems as well as the effectiveness of laser weapon systems.

Laser Communications
As optical signals propagate through the atmosphere, distortion limits the bandwidth / amount of data transmitted, even to point of “dropping” communications. Adaptive optics reduces distortion, improving communications throughput. This improvement can mean the difference between getting complete data sets where they can be distributed within a network or failures that require retransmission or result in loss of data.
High Energy Laser Weapons
For laser weapons to be most effective, the energy needs to be highly focused. Distortions can limit or eliminate lethality of these systems. Adaptive optics can correct for these defocusing distortions, raising the effectiveness of these defensive weapons. This provides more optimal positioning of these systems, more effectively protecting assets.
Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance
Clarity of images can mean the difference between detecting a threat or not. With ground-based telescopes, it is possible to observe satellites and any “near body” incursions such as “shadowing” by hostile spacecraft. Adaptive optics removes distortions that limit the ability to observe these “shadows”.
Atmospheric Measurement & Forecasting
We have been developing an atmospheric optical turbulence characterization and forecasting tool. The tool uses standard weather data and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) forecast data to predict vertical profiles of optical turbulence at any location and time on the Earth’s surface. This tool will enable users to forecast system effectiveness 24 to 48 hours in advance to support mission planning and maximize effectiveness during operations.

Atmospheric Measuring & Forecast

We have been developing an atmospheric optical turbulence characterization and forecasting tool. The tool uses standard weather data and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) forecast data to predict vertical profiles of optical turbulence at any location and time on the Earth’s surface. This tool will enable users to forecast system effectiveness 24 to 48 hours in advance to support mission planning and maximize effectiveness during operations.

Laser Communications
Optical communications from orbit to ground are becoming more common because the increased bandwidth allows more data to be downlinked while a satellite has contact with a ground station. Knowledge of weather conditions that result in atmospheric distortions, which limit the bandwidth of these communications, can support planning tools to identify the time and place for the most optimal transmission of data from orbit.
High Energy Laser Weapons
Advance knowledge of how weather will impact laser weapon effectiveness allows for assets and weapons systems to be positioned in a manner that improves the likelihood that weapon systems can effectively protect assets.
Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance
Weather results in distortions in images, particularly for long-range observations. Knowledge of weather during military operations can enable effect positioning of forward observers, positioning these assets to minimize impacts from optical distortion.

Image Processing

Guidestar has developed image processing algorithms that will improve image quality taken from moving platforms, with applications for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) applications.  Guidestar has developed both passive and active imaging techniques that enable nearly diffraction-limited performance.

High Energy Laser Weapons
The ability to identify and track an incoming threat sooner and with greater reliability increases the mission success for defensive laser weapons. Early identification increases preparedness. Better tracking improves weapon targeting as well as determining when the optimal "kill” position and distance will occur.
Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance
Extracting features of interest from images often requires applying algorithms and filters to remove noise and sharpen features. Image processing capabilities developed by Guidestar enable more efficient target identification allowing weapons systems to react sooner with more certainty.

Custom Solutions

Guidestar also maintains a modeling and simulation capability for optical propagation through turbulence consisting of wave optics and engagement-level modeling tools. Guidestar maintains this modeling and simulation capability in-house, and continues to advance its development, to evaluate concepts at a variety of maturity levels, further develop and adapt those concepts for specific applications, and identify the concepts and system architectures that are worthy of additional investigation in laboratory testing and field demonstrations.