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Solid State Laser News

fredymac

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Turkish laser shoots down Wing Loon drone in Libya. If true this is functionally equivalent to the M-SHORAD HEL system that won't be ready till 2022.

 

bobbymike

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panzerfeist1

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Thoughts on Nuclear fuel pump lasers?



“In 2012, the source [1] reported that in the RFNC-VNIITF (Snezhinsk) a gas laser pumped by a nuclear reactor operating at the atomic xenon transition with a wavelength of 2.03 μm was created. The output energy of the laser pulse was 500 J at a peak power of 1.3 MW. This device is the most compact in terms of the volume of active gas medium used (specific laser radiation energy was 32 J / dm³)”

A 520 J pulsed gas laser (laser module) was created, pumped by fission products of uranium nuclei, operating at the atomic transition of xenon 5d [3/2] 1 -> 6p [3/2] 1 , with a wavelength of 2.03 mum. The experiments were carried out on the BARS-5 + RUN-2 complex (Fast aperiodic self-quenching reactor and Reactor neutron multiplier). The specific energy of laser radiation obtained in the experiments was ~ 32 J / dm 3 at an efficiency of ~ 3% (the ratio of the output energy of the laser pulse to the energy transferred to the gas medium by fission fragments).

- Russian Federal Nuclear Center --- All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics named after Acad. E.I. Zababakhina, Snezhinsk, Chelyabinsk region, Russia.



“The 'Peresvet' laser weapon system has featured less in the media during the past year, but in December the Ministry of Defence claimed that it had been on trial combat duty since 2017.16 According to one report, it has to be deployed using two wheeled platforms as its nuclear power source is very heavy, making it impossible to employ a single transporter. Officials claim, however, that work is underway on the modernization of the system. According to Yurii Borisov, the deputy prime minister overseeing the defense industry, this should result in a more compact system with significantly improved technical capabilities.17 It is planned to complete this work in two to three years.

Meanwhile, according to Putin, in December 2019 all the 'Peresvet' supplied to the armed forces will be put on combat duty.18 It appears that the developer of the 'Peresvet' is the Sarov federal nuclear centre of Rosatom. Its trial deployment is said to be at Teikovo, Ivanovo oblast', located at a missile bases of the Strategic Missile Forces.19 According to expert opinion in Russia, it may have sufficient power to destroy optical and other systems of aircraft and possibly satellites in a low orbit, plus the destruction of small UAVs.”







“What installations are you talking about?

We are talking about promising designs of reactor plants of relatively small nuclear power plants: ATGOR, Shelf, Vityaz and UNITERM.

Earlier it was reported that such mobile nuclear reactors (auto nuclear power plants) can be used in areas with limited electric power resources - remote settlements. Mini-nuclear plants make it possible to reduce the cost of electricity, since the kilowatt-hours generated by a mobile reactor will cost about 1.5-1.7 times cheaper than the same kilowatt-hours produced by diesel-fueled diesel plants, which have to be brought in hundreds of km .

The reactor is equipped on a car chassis - in a protected capsule. According to some reports, it is planned to use an autonomous cooling system.

Today, NIKIET, which is part of Rosatom Corporation, acts as the chief designer of research reactors in the Russian Federation with a capacity of 100 MW (these are the SM-3, MIR, PIK units), the IBR-2 fast rector, and the MBIR multi-purpose fast reactor under construction.”


I see a lot of current diesel fuel generators powering laser based systems. So the more juice the better the range?
 

fredymac

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Juice correlates to range but takes lower priority over beam quality. Beam quality can be defined many ways but essentially means the degree to which all your photons are lined up in the same direction and at the same phase. A multi megawatt searchlight can't shoot down a missile because the photons spread out too much.

I had no idea that new laser the Russians were showing off is nuclear pumped. That's definitely novel and I would be very curious what beam quality it has. For the US to ever be interested in such an approach, the laser energy would have to be double digit megawatts (average power) at moderate beam quality.
 

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I fail to read a strategy behind this. As a defensive system it will pose a major risk to the zone protected. Hit the reactor and it's all area that is doomed. Wherever this will show up, it would be a high priority target in order to force your opponent to stand down and runaway
 

panzerfeist1

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I fail to read a strategy behind this. As a defensive system it will pose a major risk to the zone protected. Hit the reactor and it's all area that is doomed. Wherever this will show up, it would be a high priority target in order to force your opponent to stand down and runaway
Diesel generator is powering radars if they get hit the SAMs and everyone operating them are already as good as dead

Nuclear generator gets destroyed the crew will die the same way as above and everyone else is still good as dead anyways.

The Peresvet currently comes with 2 long containers and there is also another source that suggests Rosatom took part in the development. I do not know what kind of nuclear fallout or how much area would be effected to consider why they are going along with this idea.
 

GARGEAN

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I fail to read a strategy behind this. As a defensive system it will pose a major risk to the zone protected. Hit the reactor and it's all area that is doomed. Wherever this will show up, it would be a high priority target in order to force your opponent to stand down and runaway
For now it is mostly aimed at covering ICBM sites, namely from satellites. And what is supposed to take out ICBM site? Another ICBM. So it barely matters if your reactor (of it's really there) will add few digits after dot of fallout.
 

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Void

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Thoughts on Nuclear fuel pump lasers?

“In 2012, the source [1] reported that in the RFNC-VNIITF (Snezhinsk) a gas laser pumped by a nuclear reactor operating at the atomic xenon transition with a wavelength of 2.03 μm was created. The output energy of the laser pulse was 500 J at a peak power of 1.3 MW. This device is the most compact in terms of the volume of active gas medium used (specific laser radiation energy was 32 J / dm³)”
Unless the frequency is perhaps doubled the value of this laser as a weapon will be very limited. The attenuation of 2.03 micron radiation in air is very high. Frequency doubling is generally possible but would reduce the efficiency, power and energy achievable.
 

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TomcatViP

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Meanwhile, AFRL also is considering space-based power generation. Under the Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research program, AFRL will investigate using high-efficiency solar cells on a spacecraft to absorb the solar energy. The spacecraft then would convert the solar energy into a radio frequency transmission and beam it to a base to supply energy. AFRL has awarded Northrop Grumman a $100 million contract to begin developing the technology.
Sound to me as the most serious effort yet in the world for Space beamed energy. Amazing that it has to be the military with all the talks around fossil energy and climate change.

Get Greta some fatigues...
 

UpForce

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Sound to me as the most serious effort yet in the world for Space beamed energy. Amazing that it has to be the military with all the talks around fossil energy and climate change.

Get Greta some fatigues...
The Space Solar Power Incremental Demonstrations and Research program (SSPIDR) really does sound interesting though details seem to be very scarce. Basically all I could find was AFRL's own press release which was then copy-pasted on a few websites. With $100M I hope it comes to something, I can imagine both military and civilian applications. While we really don't - and won't - have singular silver bullets to mitigate climate change in the quite constrained time frame available to meaningfully avoid truly chaotic runaway effects, having more options to chip away at the core problems is always welcome.

I don't find it at all amazing that military research has (even great) potential in the climate change realm as well. The Pentagon, after all, recognizes the effects of climate change as one of the main drivers of global risk, whatever politicians (or indeed authoritarians) may say. Let me illustrate by simply juxtaposing some numbers. This is just in the vein of the original notion I'm commenting on, not in order to be snide or maliciously flippant at the idea of the necessity of well resourced and thoroughly considered defense. I'm just attempting to expand of the intertwined nature and actual scale of these challenges, however tangentially the issue came up here.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is funded by member states' contributions to a trust fund, the accumulated income over 30 years being ~$170M. Therefore Northrop Grumman with this one contract alone seems to have secured more than half of that funding to develop this single, as yet unproven technology. Kudos to them if in this instance they can do more for the climate with that than the IPCC but you can color me skeptical for the time being. Expanding on this, it was recently reported that using existing soil and land management practices we can basically buy 15-20 years of time to come up with a more permanently sustainable energy infrastructure, a project with a price tag of $300Bn (over 10 years). World overall military expenditure for 2018 was $1.8Tn, so an annual $30Bn would come to roughly 2% of that, amirite?

Of course, (e.g.) in the US the military budget is only ~4% of the GDP so "hard" security and capabilities are only a fraction of overall societal/global resilience. So how are we doing, otherwise? Well, while renewable energy production is on the rise, the overall growth in demand seems to largely and substantially be outstripping the potential benefits. Renewable energy currently stands at a paltry 2% of the total and coal, oil and gas stand to dominate the mix all the way through 2040 with 85% of the total. This, to put it in the mildest possible of terms, is not good. We (as in the "World") are currently subsidizing - i.e. on top of the sector's "conventional" income - the fossil fuel industry (and by extension, some pretty reprehensible leaders, their henchmen and a supporting cast of oligarchs) to the tune of $5.2Tn a year, of which $500Bn consists of direct "cash money" benefits.

Hence, there's at least a comparable (and arguably threefold) investment of public money and resources spent in actively worsening climate change as is allocated to defense/military. The generals should indeed be "green", if not for anything else but envy alone. And what of the private sector? Well, as a vignette into the "logic" of the markets, since the Paris climate pact top investment banks have poured an additional $700Bn into fossil fuel industries.

So, should Greta enlist? I doubt that's in line with her ethos but I certainly enlist in her idea that on climate change we really should listen to (and invest into) expertise. As things stand, no amount of defense spending can buy us any meaningful leverage or resilience against our overall stupidity. Indeed, many seem to be banking on that.
 

jsport

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jsport

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“If I look back over multiple decades, [across] many different concepts – starting with CO2 Laser, CO lasers, chemical lasers, free-electron lasers, chemical oxygen-iodine,” Karr said, “every one of those… at some point we hit a level where problems were very, very challenging.”

“I don’t know where that will be with electrical lasers,” Karr said. “We haven’t hit that yet.”

If your limiting yourself to SS than you never reach the range and power goals that Hybrids (electric-Chemical) can. Seems like folks are determined to fight w/ one hand tied behind there back.
 

seruriermarshal

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Amphibious ship USS PORTLAND LPD27 getting underway from San Diego 2 Dec with a trainable 150 kW laser fitted forward. Work was done this summer, 4-layer weapon installed in the empty VLS trunk by Prism under an ONR contract. Ship will deploy with the weapon.

 

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panzerfeist1

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MOSCOW, December 28. / TASS /. The Peresvet ground-based combat laser system will be airborne in the coming years. This was announced on Saturday by Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko in an interview with the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda.
“We are working to increase the capacity of the Peresvet complex. In the coming years, it is planned to place it on an aircraft carrier,” he said.
According to him, in terms of creating laser weapons next year, it is planned to "complete the design and development work on creating a tactical laser complex for destroying unmanned aerial vehicles and incapacitating light-armed surface targets in the interests of solving the tasks of the Ground Forces, Airborne Forces and the Navy."
The complex will have a modular principle of building basic systems, which in the long run will allow for a phased increase in the power and range of targets, said the deputy minister. Equipment is being actively equipped with laser systems for protecting the airborne defense systems of strategic, tactical and army aircraft against damage from ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles with optical homing heads. In the interests of the Ground Forces, in 2020 the ROC is completing the creation of a portable automated complex of optoelectronic countermeasures for counter-observation and aiming, and counteracting them with laser radiation.
 

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fredymac

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Grey Havoc

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Sounds a lot like a desperation move.
 

bring_it_on

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It may complement the Surface warfare module and against fast attack crafts and small UAS which could be a very vital threat in the littorals as is evident from the UAS that Iran has been flying around the Strait of Hormuz..

Having said that, it is refreshing to see the DOD moving away from the 100-150 kW class SSL's and thinking at an order of magnitude larger outputs. That is really what is needed on surface vessels and even ground based systems. I like the fact that the Army upped the capability of its tactical HEL to 300 kW class. You need to have that as the base if you're going to even dream about getting ahead of some of the threats (in addition to HPM and all other technologies). From there they need to move out to 1 MW and above.
 
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fredymac

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Phased fiber array? Sounds like each fiber laser can be phased relative to its' neighbors to create a wavefront control system. This would be a variation on the mosaic fiber combining architecture used in the JHPSSL program. Still need a wavefront sensor but you won't need the deformable mirror.

https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-air-force-develops-unique-directed-energy-weapon.html/amp

The system works by combining a large number of high power fiber lasers in a fashion that corrects for distortions caused by the atmosphere
 

GeorgeA

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Sounds similar in concept to the TRW APACHE phase-conjugate laser, although that was a chemical SBL.

 

panzerfeist1

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"Nuclear-pumped lasers





Since the late 1960s, work began on the creation of high-power nuclear-pumped lasers in the USSR. Initially, the specialists of VNIIEF, IAE im. Kurchatov and Research Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University. Then scientists of MEPhI, ¬VNIITF, IPPE and other centers joined them. In 1972, the VNIIEF excited a mixture of helium and xenon with uranium fission fragments using the VIR 2 pulsed reactor

. experiments are being conducted at the TIBR-1M reactor, in which the laser radiation power was about 1-2 kW. In 1975, on the basis of the VIR-2 pulsed reactor, a two-channel laser unit LUNA-2 was developed, which in 2005 still worked, and it is possible that it still works. In 1985, a neon laser was pumped for the first time in the world at the LUNA-2M installation.



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Peresvet laser complex - Page 8 1580459184_06-luna-2m

LUNA-2M installation


In the early 1980s, VNIIEF scientists, to create a nuclear-laser element operating in continuous mode, developed and manufactured a 4-channel laser module LM-4. The system is excited by a neutron flux from the BIGR reactor. The duration of the generation is determined by the duration of the irradiation pulse of the reactor. For the first time in the world, continuous generation in nuclear-pumped lasers was demonstrated in practice and the efficiency of the transverse gas pumping method was demonstrated. The laser power was about 100 watts.



Peresvet laser complex - Page 8 1580459230_07-lm-4

Installation LM-4


In 2001, the LM-4 installation was modernized, receiving the designation LM-4M / BIGR. The operation of a multi-element nuclear laser device in continuous mode was demonstrated after 7 years of preservation of the installation without replacing optical and fuel cells. The LM-4 installation can be considered as a prototype reactor-laser (RL), possessing all its qualities, except for the possibility of a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

In 2007, instead of the LM-4 module, the eight-channel laser module LM-8 was put into operation, which provided for the sequential addition of four and two laser channels.



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Peresvet laser complex - Page 8 1580459264_08-lm-8

Installation LM-8


The laser reactor is an autonomous device that combines the functions of a laser system and a nuclear reactor. The active zone of a laser reactor is a set of a certain number of laser cells placed in a certain way in a neutron moderator matrix. The number of laser cells can range from hundreds to several thousand pieces. The total amount of uranium is from 5-7 kg to 40-70 kg, linear dimensions 2-5 m.

VNIIEF carried out preliminary assessments of the main energy, nuclear-physical, technical and operational parameters of various versions of laser reactors with a laser radiation power of 100 kW and above, operating from fractions of a second to continuous operation. Reactor lasers with heat storage in the reactor core at start-ups, the duration of which is limited by the permissible heating of the AZ (heat-capacitive radar) and continuous radar with the removal of thermal energy outside the AZ



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Peresvet laser complex - Page 8 1580459269_09-reaktor-lazer

Heat capacitive radar and continuous radar


Presumably, a laser reactor with a laser power of about 1 MW should contain about 3,000 laser cells.

In Russia, intensive work on nuclear-pumped lasers was carried out not only at VNIIEF, but also at the Federal State Unitary Enterprise State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation - A.I. Leipunsky ”, as evidenced by patent RU 2502140 for the creation of a“ laser-laser reactor with direct pumping of fission fragments. "

Specialists of the SSC RF IPPE developed an energy prototype of a pulsed reactor-laser system - an optical nuclear-pumped quantum amplifier (OKUYAN).



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Peresvet laser complex - Page 8 1580459230_10-lazernyj-modul-na-baze-reaktora-bars-5

Laser module based on the BARS-5 reactor and a cassette of 37 channels in the laser module




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Peresvet laser complex - Page 8 1580459215_11-okuyan-na-baze-reaktora-bars-6

OKUYAN based on the BARS-6 reactor


Remembering the statement of the Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia Yuri Borisov in the last year’s interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper (“We received laser systems that make it possible to disarm a potential enemy and hit all those objects that serve as the target for the laser beam of this system. Our nuclear scientists learned how to concentrate energy necessary to engage the respective arms of the enemy virtually instant, in a matter of seconds ") , we can say that the BLK" Relight "not equipped with small c Chassis Basic nuclear reactor, power supply laser, a laser reactor in which fission energy is directly converted into laser radiation.

Only the aforementioned proposal makes it possible to place Peresvet BLK on an airplane. No matter how you ensure the reliability of the carrier aircraft, there is always a risk of an accident and a plane crash with the subsequent spread of radioactive materials. However, it is possible that there are ways to prevent the spread of radioactive materials when the carrier falls. And the flying petrel in a cruise missile cruise missile we already seem to have.

Based on the foregoing, it can be assumed that the probability of the implementation of the Peresvet BLK in version 3 based on a nuclear-pumped laser can be estimated as high.

It is not known whether the installed laser is pulsed or continuous. In the second case, the time of continuous operation of the laser and the breaks that must be carried out between the operating modes are in question. I would like to hope that a continuous laser reactor is installed in the Peresvet BLK, the operating time of which is limited only by the supply of refrigerant, or not limited if the cooling is provided in any other way.

In this case, the output optical power of Peresvet BLK can be estimated in the range of 1-3 MW with the prospect of increasing to 5-10 MW. It is hardly possible to hit a nuclear warhead even with such a laser, and a plane, including an unmanned aerial vehicle, or a cruise missile, is completely. It is also possible to ensure the defeat of virtually any unprotected spacecraft in low orbits, and it is possible to damage sensitive elements of spacecraft and higher orbits.

Thus, the first goal for Peresvet BLK may be the sensitive optical elements of the US missile attack warning satellites, which can act as an element of missile defense in the event of a US disruptive strike .

conclusions



As we said at the beginning of the article, there are a fairly large number of ways to obtain laser radiation. In addition to the ones discussed above, there are other types of lasers that can be effectively used in military affairs, for example, a free-electron laser, in which it is possible to widely vary the wavelength up to soft x-ray radiation and which just needs a lot of electric energy produced by small-sized nuclear reactor. Such a laser is being actively developed in the interests of the US Navy. However, the use of a free electron laser in Peresvet BLK is unlikely, because at present there is practically no information on the development of such lasers in Russia, apart from participation in Russia in the European free electron x-ray program.

It must be understood that the assessment of the probability of applying one or another solution to the Peresvet BLK is given conditionally: the presence of only indirect information obtained from open sources does not allow us to draw conclusions with a high degree of reliability.

It is possible that the conclusion about the high probability that the Peresvet BLK uses a laser with a nuclear pump is partially made not only on the basis of objective factors, but also on the underlying desire of the author. For if Russia really created a laser with a nuclear pumping power of megawatts or more, this opens up extremely interesting prospects for creating weapons systems that can radically change the face of the battlefield. But we will talk about this in another article.

PS In order to eliminate questions and disputes about the influence of the atmosphere and weather on the operation of lasers, it is highly recommended to study the book by A. S. Boreisho, “Powerful Mobile Chemical Lasers,” at least Chapter 6, entitled “Propagation of Laser Radiation at Operational Distances”.


Forgive some of the shitty translations but i believe the quote was meant to say for 1-3 or 5-10 megawatts says hardly possible for to hit nuclear warhead, but planes, UAVs and cruise missiles are listed as completely possible to hit.
 
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