World wide study of the performance of a sodium guidestar

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electro-Optics


Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics


Advisor: Steven Fiorino


This study quantifies the feasibility for a mobile sodium guidestar system. Simulations are run using the High Energy Laser End-to-End Operational Simulation (HELEEOS) software package with global sodium layer climatology data. Sodium layer data used was collected from the Optical Spectrograph and Infrared Imaging System (OSIRIS) sensor package on board the Odin satellite from 2005 through 2011 and provides a detailed global representation of the variable sodium layer occurring at an altitude of approximately 90 km in the atmosphere. This data is used in conjunction with the HELEEOS atmospheric propagation modeling to create realistic sodium guidestar models. The atmospheric effects for the laser propagation scattering model and creation of the sodium guidestar are defined in the worldwide probabilistic climatic database available in the HELEEOS software package. The simulations run evaluated the performance of a guidestar as viewed from along the propagation path and from non-propagation path viewing angles for engagement scenarios in various locations on earth. HELEEOS includes a fast-calculating, first principles, worldwide surface to 100 km, with extensions above 100 km to account for the sodium layer, atmospheric propagation and characterization package. This package enables the creation of profiles of temperature, pressure, water vapor content, optical turbulence, atmospheric particulates and hydrometeors as they relate to line-by-line layer transmission, path and background radiance at wavelengths from the ultraviolet to radio frequencies. HELEEOS is able to produce realistic evaluations of laser propagation, imaging, and adaptive optics systems by use of an end to end directed energy propagation model that incorporates probabilistic, climatological data from temporally and spatially variable meteorological, aerosol, and turbulence profiles. Specifically, HELEEOS performs its propagation calculations utilizing the following algorithms, models and datasets: the Scaling for HEL and Relay Systems (SHaRE) scaling law algorithms, High Resolution Transmission (HITRAN) database for molecular absorption, Global Aerosol Dataset (GADS), Advanced Navy Aerosol Model (ANAM), the Adaptive Optical Compensation of Thermal Blooming (AOTB) model, various turbulence models, and other physics based atmospheric propagation algorithms. HELEEOS was developed by the United States Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) under the sponsorship of the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office.


Laser guide star adaptive optics Computer simulation, Laser beams Atmospheric effects Computer simulation, Meteorological optics, Electrical Engineering, Sodium guidestar, LEEDR, World wide sodium layer climotology, HELEEOS

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2014, author