Laser/Microwave Energy Deposition to Improve Control/Performance of High Speed Vehicles
ABSTRACT: In this effort, we will couple the energy of focused microwave bursts into the air and onto surfaces by first forming a laser plasma. The presence of the laser plasma allows much lower microwave intensities to couple their energy to the laser-pre-ionized surface or air- volume, allowing more efficient energy-transfer and the use of lower-power microwave systems to achieve the desired effect. We will use a variety of laser pulses, including ultrashort laser pulses, which can achieve the intensities required to seed surfaces and air, even with very little energy per pulse. This is a direct result of their short pulse width, and will allow very low average laser-power as the seed, relying on the more cost- effective microwave source for the bulk of the energy deposition. For this Phase II effort, we will build upon our promising Phase I results, to develop and demonstrate a laser-microwave system capable of coupling the energy of focused microwave bursts into quiescent air without the need for a microwave cavity, resulting in configuration much more applicable for improving performance of high speed vehicles. We will demonstrate the capability of our laser-microwave system at various pressure ranges experienced by high speed vehicles. BENEFIT: The benefits of this technology will increase control and performance on high speed air platforms, including military and civilian aircraft, as well as unmanned systems (including missiles and re-entry vehicles), and space access and re-entry craft. The potential absence of moving parts in the resulting control effectors stand to dramatically improve cost, risk, performance, and longevity.
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Physics, Materials & Applied Math Resear
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