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Starfire Optical Range


Starfire Optical Range at Kirkland AFB (17792 bytes)


The Starfire Optical Range at Kirkland Air Force Base did significant work in the 80's, then classified, in developing adaptive optical technology for overcoming the "seeing" limitations of large optical telescopes.  Much of the optical turbulence may be removed by using an artificial star produced by a laser to probe the atmosphere, and produce an error signal that can be used to "modulate" one of the telescope's mirrors.  The photograph above shows such a probing laser beam.  The narrowness of the beam will give the viewer the impression of the "power" of ETI lasers to reach out across our sector of the Milky Way galaxy and touch us.  At present we do not have the knowledge base and technical wherewithal to aim such a laser ourselves, but should obtain such capabilities within the next century.



Starfire Transmitting Telescope (121208 bytes)


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