Solid State Laser News

bobbymike

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Textron Achieves More Than 100 Kilowatts with J-HPSSL High-Power Laser Final J-HPSSL Technical Milestone Reached

(Wilmington, Mass., February 18, 2010) -- Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that its Directed Energy Weapons business line has successfully tested its Joint High-Power Solid State Laser (J-HPSSL) laboratory demonstration device at average power levels in excess of 100 kilowatts. The J-HPSSL program, which is funded by the Joint Technology Office under contract with the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, was awarded to Textron Defense Systems in late December 2005.

Textron Defense Systems' J-HPSSL leverages the company's proprietary THINZAG(R) solid state laser technology. As a single-aperture power oscillator, the THINZAG optical configuration provides a unique path for scaling solid state lasers to high average power for use in the most stressing mission applications and severe environmental battlefield conditions. The rest of the story -
http://www.asdnews.com/news/26199/Textron_Achieves_More_Than_100_Kilowatts_with_J-HPSSL_High-Power_Laser.htm

Army Selects NGC's 100kW Solid-State Laser for Field Tests at HELSTF
Print this page Send to friendPublished on ASDNews: Feb 19, 2010
(Redondo Beach, Calif., February 18, 2010) -- The solid-state laser system from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) that produced the most powerful beam ever from a continuous wave, electric laser last year is joining other pioneering speed-of-light weapons demonstrators for field tests at the Army's High Energy Laser System Test Facility (HELSTF), N.M.

In cooperation with the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, which operates the test range at White Sands Missile Range in southeastern New Mexico, BAE Systems has contracted with Northrop Grumman to relocate the Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) Phase 3 system from the company's laser factory in Redondo Beach, Calif., to HELSTF. Field testing is expected to begin this year.

This laser will be integrated with the beam control and command and control systems from another Northrop Grumman-built system, the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), to provide the Army with the world's first high-power, Solid State Laser Testbed Experiment (SSLTE).
http://www.asdnews.com/news/26206/Army_Selects_NGC_s_100kW_Solid-State_Laser_for_Field_Tests_at_HELSTF_.htm
 

bobbymike

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For Laser News:

Boeing Completes Preliminary Design of FEL Weapon System
(Albuquerque, N.M., March 18, 2010) -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully completed the preliminary design of the U.S. Navy's Free Electron Laser (FEL) weapon system, a key step toward building a FEL prototype for realistic tests at sea.

During the preliminary design review held March 9 to March 11 at a Boeing facility in Arlington, Va., the company presented its design to more than 30 U.S. government and National Laboratory representatives. This electric laser will operate by passing a beam of high-energy electrons through a series of powerful magnetic fields, generating an intense emission of laser light that can disable or destroy targets.

"The Free Electron Laser will use a ship's electrical power to create, in effect, unlimited ammunition and provide the ultra-precise, speed-of-light capability required to defend U.S. naval forces against emerging threats, such as hyper-velocity cruise missiles," said Gary Fitzmire, vice president and program director of Boeing Directed Energy Systems. "The successful completion of this preliminary design review is an important milestone in developing a weapon system that will transform naval warfare."

In April 2009, Boeing was awarded an Office of Naval Research contract valued at up to $163 million -- with an initial task order of $6.9 million -- to begin developing FEL. The Navy is expected to decide this summer whether to award additional task orders to Boeing to complete the FEL design and build and operate a laboratory demonstrator.

Boeing Missile Defense Systems' Directed Energy Systems unit in Albuquerque and the Boeing Research & Technology group in Seattle support the FEL program. The company has partnered with U.S. Department of Energy laboratories, academia and industry partners to design the laser.

Boeing is developing laser systems for a variety of defense applications. Besides FEL, these systems include the Airborne Laser Test Bed, the High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator, and Laser Avenger, among others.
Source : The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA)
 

bobbymike

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More laser news from Aviation Week:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/dti/2010/09/01/DT_09_01_2010_p28-249476.xml&headline=Laser%20Tests%20Point%20To%20Non-Kinetic%20Weapons
 

bobbymike

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From Space Daily

Northrop Grumman To Increase Efficiency
For Next-Gen Military Laser Technology

-
by Staff Writers
Redondo Beach CA (SPX) Oct 01, 2010
Northrop Grumman will leverage its recent high-energy solid-state laser successes to advance electric laser technology by substantially increasing the efficiency of these systems for military uses.

This work will be done under a new U.S. Department of Defense program called the Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI), a first step toward developing the next generation of military laser technology for more efficient, lighter and smaller systems.

The Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Strategic Forces Command in Huntsville, Ala., awarded Northrop Grumman an initial two-year, $8.8 million contract with options that could extend it to a five-year contract valued at $53.3 million.

The RELI program seeks to increase system efficiency to greater than 30 percent while generating good beam quality, a power level of 25 kilowatts (kW) that is capable of being scaled to 100kW, all of which could be packaged on a military platform. Solid-state laser systems currently are about 20 percent efficient, according to the Defense Department.

"RELI is a natural follow-on for the next generation of military laser technology from the Joint High Power Solid State Laser program we completed successfully in early 2009," said Steve Hixson, vice president of Advanced Concepts - Space and Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "Under RELI, we believe the Defense Department will extend the opportunities for electric lasers for military missions."

According to the High Energy Laser-Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO), which is helping fund the program, RELI's goal is to deliver a highly reliable, fieldable system that can be coupled with other Defense Department initiatives and tailored for specific platforms across all military services.

"We are confident in our ability to exceed the government's goals for robust military performance and packaging, and also in leveraging commercial fiber laser technology
to reduce cost for implementation and production," noted Dan Wildt, vice president, Directed Energy Systems.

"The RELI program is the obvious next step to extend Northrop Grumman's world-class leadership in high-energy lasers to provide a family of systems that ultimately will protect and strengthen our troops. The JHPSSL laser we developed for the Defense Department provides the first fieldable laser system technology. RELI gives the potential to improve solid-state laser efficiency of weapons on a variety of platforms."

Several Northrop Grumman high-energy laser thrusts will come together to meet RELI's objectives. In addition to JHPSSL Phase 3 technology, these include two fiber laser initiatives:

+ Revolution in Fiber Lasers, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program that aims to scale fiber laser amplifier technology up to 3kW, and the

+ 2-Dimensional Diffractive Optical Element Beam Combining Demonstration, a U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) program under which Northrop Grumman is demonstrating diffractive beam combining using AFRL's high-power fiber test bed.

The RELI program is funded by HEL-JTO in conjunction with the Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Strategic Forces Command; Air Force Research Laboratory; and Office of Naval Research
 

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Boeing Installing Beam Control System On HEL Laser Demonstrator

Illustration of HEMTT
by Staff Writers
Huntsville, AL (SPX) Oct 26, 2010

Boeing reports that its High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) team in Huntsville is installing subassemblies on the Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), while a HEL TD team in Albuquerque, N.M., is integrating the laser beam director assembly with the beam control system. These technical integration tasks are being performed to prepare for installation of the beam control system on the HEMTT later this year.

HEL TD is a solid-state laser system demonstrator that will verify the ability to shoot down rockets, artillery and mortars. Boeing is developing the system under contract to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. "We are applying the best of Boeing to deliver this ground-breaking technology to the warfighter as soon as possible," said Blaine Beardsley, Boeing HEL TD program manager.

"The HEL TD program provides a great opportunity to apply the ultra-precision, speed-of-light benefits of directed energy that will dramatically improve our customer's defenses on the battlefield." The subassemblies being installed on the eight-wheel, 500-horsepower HEMTT include a generator and heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. The vehicle also is equipped with a system enclosure, a structure that will hold much of its critical hardware, including the beam control system and beam director.

After installation of the beam control system onto the HEMTT, HEL TD will enter low-power system testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. These tests, scheduled for next year, will demonstrate the HEL TD system's ability to acquire, track and target moving projectiles. The HEMTT will later be equipped with a high-energy laser that can destroy those targets. HEL TD will acquire, track and select an aimpoint on a target; then the system will receive the laser beam from HEL TD's laser device, reshape and align it, and focus it on the target. The system includes mirrors, high-speed processors and high-speed optical sensors. Boeing is developing directed energy systems for a variety of U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy applications. Besides HEL TD, these systems include the Free Electron Laser, the Tactical Relay Mirror System, and the Compact 3-D Imaging Camera.
 

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Battlefield Lasers on the Chopping Block


The science fiction-fueled notion of high-energy lasers blasting at enemies may fall victim to the budget crunch. Directed energy weapons have been one of those technologies that are just “five years away” from becoming a reality, but never comes to fruition, said Al Shaffer, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering at the office of the secretary of defense.

“What’s the killer app?” Shaffer asked, when an attendee at the Precision Strike Association conference in Arlington, Va. inquired about the fate of directed energy in the research and development budget. The “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense” strategy released Jan. 5 said that the Defense Department would try to maintain its research and development accounts. “The Department will make every effort to maintain an adequate industrial base and our investment in science and technology,” the document stated. But there will inevitably be winners and losers in Defense Department R&D as the Pentagon attempts to prioritize where it wants to invest its “seed corn,” as the document described it. “We have done some marvelous things,” Shaffer said of the military’s directed energy research and development efforts. A 100-kilowatt electric laser, which he described as a “great system” is one example.

“But I don’t think we as a department have figured out what the killer app is yet. It might be protection of forward bases. It might be protection of aircraft. … But what is it we are really trying to achieve? Can we do that affordably?”
-------------------------------------------------------

The continued short sightedness of our "leaders" is truly astounding IMHO!
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
Battlefield Lasers on the Chopping Block


The science fiction-fueled notion of high-energy lasers blasting at enemies may fall victim to the budget crunch. Directed energy weapons have been one of those technologies that are just “five years away” from becoming a reality, but never comes to fruition, said Al Shaffer, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering at the office of the secretary of defense.

“What’s the killer app?” Shaffer asked, when an attendee at the Precision Strike Association conference in Arlington, Va. inquired about the fate of directed energy in the research and development budget. The “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense” strategy released Jan. 5 said that the Defense Department would try to maintain its research and development accounts. “The Department will make every effort to maintain an adequate industrial base and our investment in science and technology,” the document stated. But there will inevitably be winners and losers in Defense Department R&D as the Pentagon attempts to prioritize where it wants to invest its “seed corn,” as the document described it. “We have done some marvelous things,” Shaffer said of the military’s directed energy research and development efforts. A 100-kilowatt electric laser, which he described as a “great system” is one example.

“But I don’t think we as a department have figured out what the killer app is yet. It might be protection of forward bases. It might be protection of aircraft. … But what is it we are really trying to achieve? Can we do that affordably?”
-------------------------------------------------------

The continued short sightedness of our "leaders" is truly astounding IMHO!
I guess they plan to find the killer app first and then they'll worry about the solution. But hey, at least they're going to "make every effort to maintain an adequate industrial base" though one has to ask how they expect to do that if nobody is working on the problem.
 
A

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Once again the administration displays its lack of competence. It's kind of hard to maintain a good industrial base when all R&D is being terminated and everyone with any real experience in working with High energy DEWs ends up retired by the time any of these concepts are revisited.

The "killer app" is immense and broad. It is also obvious. Battlefield protection, aircraft protection, disarming Scuds, etc. The list goes on. Really, I am sick and tired of all of these programs getting unnecessarily terminated!
 

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If this systems promised so much, private industry would be developing them. They're not. That tells us something. Either they don't promise what they're trying to make us believe or apparently many of these companies haven't figured out they're supposed to reinvest some of their profits into development, instead of feeding at the government trough for everything. My company doesn't receive government funds for developning new equipment and neither should they.

Some research will still continue in the theoretical sense, funded by government, but it's up to private industry to take it from there. That's one of the reasons I'm so proud of Sikorsky putting their own funds into the X2. Hey, I don't even mind matching funds, but if corporations aren't forced to put up some of their own money for development, around 50% at least, than I don't think it should be developed. It's not my job as a taxpayer to fund their development so they can save all of their money for profit.
 

sferrin

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Sundog said:
If this systems promised so much, private industry would be developing them. They're not. That tells us something. Either they don't promise what they're trying to make us believe or apparently many of these companies haven't figured out they're supposed to reinvest some of their profits into development, instead of feeding at the government trough for everything.
Or "C" it's going to cost more money to get them competitive than individual companies feel like investing. No single company could have given us the atomic bomb. No single company could have given us Apollo. There are some things that are beyond the scope of any one company. That doesn't make them useless.

Sundog said:
I'm so proud of Sikorsky putting their own funds into the X2.
The X-2 is small potatoes compared to developing a high powered practical laser. [/quote][/quote]
 

Catalytic

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well well well.... I'm not surprised :p

What could be the killer app for a recoiless weapons system that travels at the speed of light and functions most effectively in a vacuum?

Dont get me wrong I'm hopeful for massive free electron lasers on ships. But solid state lasers on fighters, UCAV's, armoured vechicles etc.... maybe flying cars will come first.
 

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Directed Energy Weapon Report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

http://csbaonline.org/uploads/documents/CSBA_ChangingTheGame_ereader.pdf
 

bobbymike

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ONR Planning First Solid-State Laser Weapon Prototypes On DDG, LCS

Inside the Navy - 08/20/2012

The Office of Naval Research is accepting bids though Oct. 16 for its newly created solid-state laser technology maturation program following the release of its broad agency announcement on Aug. 14 for a weapon system that could be used on destroyers and the Littoral Combat Ship.

High-Energy Laser Testing Expected In Fall, Part Of Incremental Development

Inside the Army - 08/20/2012

Boeing is waiting for the Army's go-ahead to begin a series of tests anticipated in the fall of a high-energy laser on a mobile demonstrator that would defend against rockets, artillery shells and mortar rounds, according to service and company officials.
 

bobbymike

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http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/10/lasers/
 

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"..enable better sensing." is a good thing.
 

bobbymike

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Laser System Targets Short-range Aerial Threats: Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a portable, ground-based laser system called ADAM in a series of tests against rockets and remotely piloted aircraft, announced the company on Nov. 27. ADAM stands for Area Defense Anti-Munitions system; the 10-kilowatt fiber laser is designed to bring down short-range aerial threats, states the company's release. Since August, ADAM has successfully engaged an RPA in flight at a range of nearly a mile and has destroyed four small-caliber rockets in simulated flight at a range of about 1.2 miles, according to the release. "Lockheed Martin has applied its expertise as a laser weapon system integrator to provide a practical and affordable defense against serious threats to military forces and installations," said Paul Shattuck, the company's director of directed energy systems for strategic and missile defense purposes. ADAM, which incorporates some commercial hardware, has a tracking range of more than three miles and can engage RPA with an external radar cue, according to the company.
 

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http://nation.time.com/2012/12/10/double-trouble-drones-lasers/
 

quellish

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http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/solicitations/sbir20131/af131.htm

AF131-009
TITLE: Low-Observable Heat Rejection from Aircraft

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the solicitation.

OBJECTIVE: Future aircraft-based high energy lasers will produce hundreds of kilowatts of low-quality waste heat. Novel approaches are sought to remove waste heat under these conditions without significant impact on aircraft signature/aerodynamic performance.

DESCRIPTION: The large quantities of low-quality (<40C) waste heat generated by directed energy and other electrically based technologies need to be removed from air platforms in a manner that will allow the system to meet size, weight and power constraints and not interfere with aircraft operation. Heat from directed energy systems is often generated in laser diodes with junction temperatures from 20C-30C as required for the desired pump laser wavelength. Most laser diode packages require non-electrically conductive working fluid with the current state of the art being de-ionized water which is undesirable for airborne logistics reasons. Due to the high peak heat flux of laser systems (~1MW), thermal storage is often used during system firing and a smaller, steady heat sink will recharge the thermal storage. The heat removal capacity of fuel as working fluid is at or near its capacity in future and current air platforms. Heat sinks are being sought that do not involve transferring heat to the fuel. Non-fuel heat sinks have the potential to add to the aircraft thermal signature, radar cross section or adversely impact the aerodynamic performance of the platform. The successful proposal will investigate heat sinks which do not significantly impact the thermal signature, radar cross section or the aerodynamic performance of sub and transonic aircraft and which have the capacity to continuously remove up to 100kW of heat at less than <40C at altitudes from 10kft to 40kft.
 
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