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Compact High Efficiency High Energy Laser

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Weapons 

OBJECTIVE: To develop a high efficiency high-energy laser (HEL) with a reduced Size Weight and Power (SWaP) footprint for integration into smaller, more tactical platforms. 

DESCRIPTION: Current high energy lasers have a large SWaP footprint due in large part to their low electrical to optical efficiency of around 40%. The low efficiency of these systems requires substantial cooling systems to remove the waste heat from the system and requires large power banks to supply the electrical power. The large size of these systems limit our ability to integrate lasers into smaller, more tactical systems. 

PHASE I: The phase I effort will result in a design concept and analysis of both the efficiency and scalability. The phase I effort shall include a final report with modeling and simulation, and/or proof of concept experimental results supporting performance claims. 

PHASE II: The phase II effort will build upon the phase I and will include lasing demonstration and scalability experiments. It is acknowledged that a full power demonstration may not be possible at this stage, but its feasibility should be well documented and validated. 

PHASE III: DoD laser weapons offer benefits of graduated lethality, rapid deployment to counter time-sensitive targets, and the ability to deliver significant force either at great distance or to nearby threats with high accuracy for minimal collateral damage. Future laser weapon applications will range from very high power devices used for air defense (to detect, track, and destroy incoming rockets, artillery, and mortars) to modest power devices used for counter-ISR. The phase III effort would be to design and build high efficiency HELs for integration into a variety of military platforms. The US Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center as part of its Directed Energy research would execute military funding for this Phase III effort. 

REFERENCES: 

1: D. J. Richardson, J. Nilsson, and W. A. Clarkson, "High power fiber lasers: current status and future perspectives [Invited]," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, B63 (2010).

2:  N. W. Carlson, Monolithic Diode-Laser Arrays (1994).

3:  M. N. Zervas and C. A. Codemard, "High Power Fiber Lasers: A Review," IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 20, 219–241 (2014).

4:  W. F. Krupke, "Diode pumped alkali lasers (DPALs) – A review," Prog Quant Electron. 36, 4-28 (2012)

KEYWORDS: High Energy Laser, Tactical, Directed Energy, Laser Weapons, High Efficiency, High Power Laser 

CONTACT(S): 

Dr. Brett Hokr 

(256) 270-5668 

brett.h.hokr.civ@mail.mil 

Amanda Black 

(256) 955-5543 

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