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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.
 

TomcatViP

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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.
 

seruriermarshal

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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.
 
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