Compact Laser Igniter for Medium Caliber Cannon
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Medium caliber cannons, such as the Army's M230 chain gun, currently utilize a high current electrical pulse to initiate the propellant. While electrical ignition is reliable, electrical based primers are susceptible to premature ignition from EMI, EMP, orother stray or directed electromagnetic sources. In the event of a weapon jam, electrically initiated primers are potentially dangerous as the potential for a static electrical discharge results in a risky task to safely unload and free the jammedmechanism. Furthermore, current electrical based primers contain lead styphnate, which is considered an environmentally hazardous material.The proposed effort will research the design characteristics of a laser igniter, suitable for replacement of existingelectrical ignition systems, as used in small and medium caliber cannons. In addition to being inherently electromagnetically safe, laser ignition systems provide the possibility of utilizing `Green' or environmentally friendly propellants, primers, andboosters, thereby eliminating hazardous materials used in conventional primers and possibly reducing ammunition costs. As the intended application is for rotorcraft, particular attention will be directed to minimizing size, weight and power consumptionwhile maintaining the structural integrity to withstand high shock/vibration levels. In addition to providing a safer, more environmentally friendly ignition systems for medium caliber cannons, the proposed research effort will benefit other laser ignitedarmament systems as well as provide potential commercial and military applications for miniature laser technology. Applications for the technology developed under this effort include remote sensing, such as ranging, chemical/biological sensing, laserinduced breakdown spectroscopy, as well as medical applications including dermatology, dentistry, and surgery.
Small Business Information at Submission:
PO Box 24190 Hilton Head Islan, SC 29925
Number of Employees: