Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed

flateric

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With a Rosdivan's hint here goes autopsy of YAL-1A.
Note that all these go from the open source....
 

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flateric

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...little bit more...
 

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Rickshaw

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Why is the "target ranger" angled downwards? I'd have thought it would be aligned with the main laser.
 

flateric

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rickshaw said:
Why is the "target ranger" angled downwards? I'd have thought it would be aligned with the main laser.

The key word is 'boost phase intercept' - YAL-1A purpose is to intercept missiles just after launch. Where you'd expect to see these while trying to do this while flying stright and level?
 

Rickshaw

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So, why isn't the laser therefore then aligned with the "target ranger"?
 

Triton

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Boeing promotional video for the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed (formerly Airborne Laser).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5SDo0rH1Xo


Future Weapons television series segment on Airborne Laser Testbed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LKk1bTL6fk


Cut-away illustration of Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed.

Source: http://www.airborne-laser.com/airborne_laser_photo_album/


Another cut-away illustration of Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed.

Source: http://www.jimonlight.com/2009/03/30/the-yal-1-might-get-scrapped/


Cut-away model of Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robot-vs-monkey/1394147293/

Photograph of Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed.

Source: http://www.boeing-747.com/special_boeing_747s/
 

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Trident

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rickshaw said:
So, why isn't the laser therefore then aligned with the "target ranger"?

Both systems are trainable AFAIK, so where their bore sight axis is pointed makes little difference. My guess is that the ranging system pod points down a bit because Boeing found this was preferable for some obscure aerodynamic reason.
 

Firebee

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There is also this book (circa 1997) about the development of the ABL.
9780306456220.OL.0.m.jpg

By Robert W. Duffner
Published by Basic Books (USA)
ISBN: 9780306456220
 

coanda

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Trident said:
rickshaw said:
So, why isn't the laser therefore then aligned with the "target ranger"?

Both systems are trainable AFAIK, so where their bore sight axis is pointed makes little difference. My guess is that the ranging system pod points down a bit because Boeing found this was preferable for some obscure aerodynamic reason.

It's been positioned for minimum drag during cruise. So it's likely that the aircraft cruises with a slight nose up attitude, and the ranging laser pod is arranged to present minimum frontal area during that flight phase.
 

Triton

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Boeing promotional video for the YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed, a modified 747-400 that was developed to shoot down ballistic missiles during the first few minutes of flight.
 

Jos Heyman

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The only aircraft built, 00-0001, was sent to AMARC on 12 February 2012. The second one, 00-0002, was never built.
 

Stargazer2006

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Do we have confirmation that the quoted YFC-36A was the initial designation of the YAL-1A, or was this just an educated guess?
 

Andreas Parsch

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Stargazer2006 said:
Do we have confirmation that the quoted YFC-36A was the initial designation of the YAL-1A, or was this just an educated guess?
Educated guess.

The only confirmed information for the YFC-36A designator is the timeframe of the MDS reservation (early 1996), and that the plane was to have 4 engines. If you are looking for a project in 1996 for a 4-engined transport modified to a "prototype interceptor" (the official definition of the "F" modified mission prefix says "Aircraft modified to intercept and destroy other aircraft or missiles"), the ABL is a more or less perfect match. But I admit it's still only an educated guess :-\ .
 

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Below is a description of Lockheed-Martin's role in the Airborne Laser Beam and Fire Control. I believe the document dates from 2000-2001.
 

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circle-5

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Excellent article by Northrop Grumman's own Tony Chong, here.
 

Temistocle

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Hi, an article about the Airborne Laser Laboratory, the predecessor of YAL-1, here:


If someone need it, just send me a PM.
 
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