Enhanced Lethality Using Self-Channeling Short-Pulse Lasers.
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
"Laser radiation suffers from two fundamental problems inDirected Energy applications: diffraction and turbulence.Our research has demonstrated the potential of directing the energyof a pulse along 100 micron diameter self-ionizing channelsor "filaments". Preliminary estimates indicate that these filamentscan contain up to 1 Joule of energy each,propagate over kilometers, and keep their integritydespite turbulence. Current systems, with noturbulence and perfect optics, would require lens/mirrordiameters on the order of 25 meters to acieve a comparable "focus". Incontrast, our system is constructed using optical elementsof only a few centimeters to formthe 100 micron filaments which are only vulnerable to~100 micron turbulence (which isnot of concern in the atmostphere). Our team consists ofphysicist and optics/materialsfaculty, and our preliminary results have been obtainedin the world-class ultrafast laserlaboratories at the Universtiy of New Mexico. We proposethat these self-focusing "waveguides"be used individulally to riddle a target with smallholes, or in bundles to deliver moreenergy simultaneously. Commercial applications forindividual filaments are micromachining/processing,medical/surgical use, and imaging/remote sensing. It is anticipated that the system will allow accurate and consistent delivery,over kilometers, of laser energy constrained to travel alongself-generated, ionized paths on the order of 100 microns in d
Small Business Information at Submission:
Physics, Materials & Applied Math Research, L.L.C.
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