- Apr 21, 2009
- Reaction score
Lockheed Martin is interested in adapting its 60 kW laser systems for the US Navy (USN) Surface Navy Laser Weapons System (SNLWS), Jim Murdoch, Director of Advanced Technologies Business Development for Lockheed Martin, told reporters at the Annual Navy League conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on 3 April 2017.
Lockheed Martin recently completed the design (developed under the Department of Defense's Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) programme), development, and demonstration of a 60 kW combined fibre laser for the US Army that produced a single 58 kW beam earlier in March that will be delivered to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama, sometime in May. The combined fibre nature of the laser brings together individual fibre optics-generated laser beams that can be scaled in power intensity by adding subunits and is diffraction limited or "close to the physical limits for focusing energy toward a single, small spot". According to Lockheed Martin, the laser system translated more than 45% of electricity that powered it into the actual laser beam emitted.
"Our big things are efficiency. So you are not throwing away a lot of heat that you have to deal with and then precision. You want that beam to be nicely focused," Murdoch said. "So how do we do at that? Well ... we hit about 43% efficiency ... and that allows us to build a system that does not need a lot of cooling and we could put it in [the US Army's mobile test truck]."
"If you are going to provide a system for a DDG [guided missile destroyer], that is a ship that ... depending on whichever flight it is, there is probably enough space to accommodate at least 60 kW without a large ship integration impact," he added. "If it is over 40% efficient, you only need a 150 kW of electrical power and that is at the peak when you are actually lasing a target. If you use a battery pack, and you charge the battery pack when you are not shooting, and maybe - depending on how often you are shooting - you only need to put 100 kW in there. So that is probably a manageable ship integration impact. And maybe you do not have to have an additional power source added."
Thank you sir, for at least bringing up chemical lasers again in this thread. believes Hybrids need a second look.fredymac said:bobbymike said:http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/04/11/world/laser-weapons-edge-toward-use-u-s-military/#.WO0TqFLMyRs
I guess superficial is better than biased. The closing paragraphs of the article referenced the ABL and how it was canceled because of concerns that its' laser was too weak.
Compared to electric lasers (either fiber or slab), chemical lasers are still a full 1 to 2 orders of magnitude more powerful. Cancellation was driven by politics as exemplified by the manner in which the aircraft was literally gutted after program termination.
The current generation of electric lasers do have a very significant advantage over chemical lasers in their ease of operation and running duration. No waste chemicals and no plumbing with countless valves and pumps. Beam control development and debugging is a lot easier with that kind of flexibility. Maybe having smaller systems that aren't so tempting to cancel might allow hardware to finally reach deployment.
Thank you for the info.fredymac said:“Likewise the continental Europeans may have something w/ three lenses. Any info on that you can share?”
Modular design in order to limit costs. Each module means a full telescope assembly with its’ own fiber laser sources. The trick is in guessing what is the optimal module power in order to cover enough target scenarios without having an ungainly number of them bolted to the gimbal.
The other aspect is staying below the atmospheric cell size. For vertical air columns that would be around 8 inches or so but for horizontal propagation, it gets messy. Adaptive optics is used to deal with this. If you stay below the cell size, beam tilt can compensate pointing dither.