Conformal High Energy Laser Weapon System
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The weight, cost and volume drivers for a solid state HEL system on an aircraft are the HEL devices and the HEL transmitting telescope gimbals. The HEL bulk devices now being developed employ complicated optical amplifiers and resonators.. The Gimbals are housed in a turret projecting from the aircraft. The turret creates aero-optics HEL beam degradation. Recent developments in fiber laser and wide angle non-mechanical beam steering technology offers an HEL weapons approach that reduces size and weight considerably and allows conformal window(s) at the beam output(s) which eliminates the protruding turret and mitigate the associated aero-optics degradation. Temporally coherent fiber lasers of 1 to 3 kw will be available in the near future. Projecting these fiber beams through small apertures (with constrained sparseness) comparable to the atmospheric coherence length and coherently combining these lasers at the target will allow irradiance on target equivalent to the diffraction limit of the additive area of all the small apertures. The objective of this SBIR is to develop a conformal high energy laser weapon system design concept for high performance jet fighter aircraft which achieves on-target performance comparable to a 25 kW bulk laser with a 30 cm diameter conventional beam control system. BENEFIT: Replacing the bulk solid state laser with fiber lasers and replacing the gimbal and dome with a Wide Angle Steering System and conformal window will result in an architecture sufficiently small and light to enable tactical beam control from high performance aircraft. The organizing theme of this effort also creates and encourages early synergy and compatibility between the laser subsystems and the various disciplines that contribute to the design process used in implementing the HEL weapon system architecture. The methodology developed in this program can be used as a tool by the services for other laser system architectures or other military or commercial applications to insure the optimal design architecture for those systems will result in acceptable performance, smaller size, lighter weight and lower cost.
Small Business Information at Submission:
MZA Associates Corporation
2021 Girard SE Suite 150 Albuquerque, NM 87106
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