A method and system are described for illuminating a target with a laser source with a wide-area illuminating beam. A conjugator can receive a reflected, imprinted wavefront from the target that is imprinted with effects from beam distortions and obstructions between the laser source and the target. The conjugator can then generate a hologram. A directed laser beam can then be generated to the target by reading the generated hologram with a second reference beam creating a time-reversed wavefront that can be generated with high gain. The time-reversed wavefront can retrace the path that originated from the laser source to the target, and can reverse the effects of beam distortions and obstructions. Finally, an enhanced return can be received from the target with a receiver, and a time-gating switch can be utilized that selectively selects a particular range of return wavefronts that include wavefronts that reached the target.
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