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This paper demonstrates high-performance adaptive control for a laser-beam steering system, which exhibits high-order unknown jitter dynamics. The adaptive controller, which is based on a recursive least-squares finite-impulse-response lattice filter, has the distinguishing feature that variable and high-order adaptive filters can be realized in the real-time implementation. Varying the order of the adaptive controller produces both fast adaptation and optimal steady-state performance in the experiment, without the large transients often produced by fixed-order recursive least-squares adaptive controllers. The steady-state performance of the high-order adaptive controller approximates closely the theoretically achievable minimum-variance steady-state performance, which is derived from the identified plant and jitter dynamics. Experimental results also illustrate the capability of the adaptive controller to adapt rapidly to changing jitter characteristics.