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Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Weapons Grade High Power Fiber Laser

seruriermarshal

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Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Weapons Grade High Power Fiber Laser

BOTHELL, Wash., Jan. 28, 2014 – Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt electric fiber laser, the highest power ever documented while retaining beam quality and electrical efficiency.

The internally funded research and development program culminated in this demonstration, which was achieved by combining many fiber lasers into a single, near-perfect quality beam of light—all while using approximately 50 percent less electricity than alternative solid-state laser technologies. The unique process, called Spectral Beam Combining, sends beams from multiple fiber laser modules, each with a unique wavelength, into a combiner that forms a single, powerful, high quality beam.

“Lockheed Martin has opened the aperture for high power, electrically driven laser systems suitable for military applications,” said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin. “Advancements in available laser components, along with the maturity and quality of our innovative beam-combining technology, support our goal of providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for use on military platforms such as aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”

The successful demonstration marks a significant milestone on the path to deploying a mission-relevant laser weapon system for a wide range of air, land and sea military platforms.

Prior laser weapon demonstrations in the industry showed target acquisition, tracking and destruction. However, these solutions were limited for tactical military use because their laser inefficiencies drove significant size, power and cooling needs not readily supported by key military ground and airborne platforms.

“The high-energy laser serves as the heart of a laser weapon system,” said Dr. Johnson. “This 30-kilowatt milestone shows our commitment to producing the high beam quality and high power needed to address a variety of military ‘speed-of-light’ defensive operations.”

Lockheed Martin has specialized in directed energy laser weapon system development for the past 30 years and purchased Aculight in 2008 to further strengthen its offerings at every level—from expert advice and pioneering research to solid prototyping and flexible manufacturing.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/january/140128-mst-lockheed-martin-demonstrates-weapons-grade-high-power-fiber-laser.html
 

sublight is back

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The most important question. Will it fit in an F35 A/C and get powered up by the drive shaft?
 

sferrin

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sublight is back said:
The most important question. Will it fit in an F35 A/C and get powered up by the drive shaft?

Said 30 kw not 30 Mw. B)
 

bobbymike

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This story originally posted under the Solid State Laser News thread:

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/02/are-missile-defense-lasers-on-the-verge-of-reality/

“We think that, with today’s technology, fiber lasers will scale to 300, arguably beyond 300.” With future improvements in the underlying laser technologies, he said, “we think we can get well beyond 500 kw.”

The article also says they are 'dollar' limited not technology limited. I'd be pumping money into this system big time.
 

Grey Havoc

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So it's basically a multi-laser in other words. Interesting.
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
This story originally posted under the Solid State Laser News thread:

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/02/are-missile-defense-lasers-on-the-verge-of-reality/

“We think that, with today’s technology, fiber lasers will scale to 300, arguably beyond 300.” With future improvements in the underlying laser technologies, he said, “we think we can get well beyond 500 kw.”

The article also says they are 'dollar' limited not technology limited. I'd be pumping money into this system big time.

If only we didn't need to bother with politicians.
 

stealthflanker

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So, what determine the beamwidth (Half angle width or whatever it called) Of this new laser ?

For "old" Laser such as ABL..Mirror diameter and laser wavelength determines the beamwidth along with diffraction limit (1.2) .. One can calculate the beamwidth (in Micro radian unit) by dividing that wavelength (micron) with mirror diameter (meter) then multiply the result with 1.2 to take account of diffraction.

After knowing the beamwidth one can roughly estimate beam radius (How big the hole made by the laser) by multiplying that beamwidth converted to radian with range in meters, from there beam area can be estimated by simple circle area.

After knowing beam area, we can estimate how much power of the laser reach the target, this require laser power, beam area and a coefficient of material absorbance (Say aluminum absorb only 5% radiation at 1.3 micron laser wavelength).


Anyway i make simple excel spreadsheet for that purpose :3

http://www.mediafire.com/view/r25cdq2f6xkokra/LaserCalc.xlsx

The spreadsheet however discount the atmosphere absorbption and any beam broadening effect produced by atmosphere.. So this sheet might not be satisfactory for calculating ground based laser. But i see it can give more accuracy for higher altitude (say tropopause to up to the space)
 

bobbymike

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The Heat is On

3/5/2015

Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Test High Energy Asset 30-kilowatt fiber laser, known as ATHENA, successfully burned a hole in the engine of a small truck from more than a mile away during the first field test of the weapon system recently, the company announced March 3. The ground-based prototype took just seconds to disable the engine, states the release. “Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer. “We are investing in every component of the system, from the optics and beam control to the laser itself, to drive size, weight, and power efficiencies. The test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships, and trucks.” Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, commander of Air Force Research Laboratory, told Air Force Magazine in a recent interview that USAF believes electric lasers in the 100-kilowatt range would be useful in air-to-air applications, and might be operationally available in 10 years. The Air Force’s YAL-1 Airborne Laser aircraft, which used a huge chemical laser crammed inside a 747 airframe, was able to generate power in the “megawatt class,” Masiello said.
 

fredymac

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Picture of test result. Hole is pretty big. I speculate that the beam is much smaller and the metal simply burned away during the laser exposure on the engine manifold.
 

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fightingirish

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