Date of Award

6-2010

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

John Saghri

Abstract

In the emerging industry of small unmanned vehicles, pioneered by small businesses and research institutions, a suitable combat system test platform is needed. Computer simulations are useful, but do not provide the definitive proof of effective operation necessary for deployment of a combat system. What is needed is an affordable simulated weapons system that enables live flight testing without the used of live weaponry.

A framework is developed here for the construction of a simulated weapon using Free Space Optical (FSO) infrared communication. It is developed in such a way to ensure compatibility with a variety of platforms including ground and aerial vehicles, so that identical but configurable modules can be used on any vehicle that is to take place in a live combat simulation. A proof-of-concept implementation of this modular laser combat system framework is also presented and tested. The implemented system shows the value of such a simulated weapons system and future areas of improvement are also explored.