The ground based laser (GBL) program was established by the Strategic Defense Initiative Office, (SDI) and is managed by the Army Strategic Defense Command. The GBL system would utilize multiple laser sites and orbiting relay mirrors to intercept a large scaled ballistic missile launch during its boost phase. This rather ambitious mission demanded very high laser power with unprecedented beam focusing and pointing to successfully engage the massive first strike force that appeared to be possible during the height of the cold war.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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