JED - December 2015 - 84

E W101

DEMONSTRATION LASER SYSTEMS

The Journal of Electronic Defense | December 2015

84

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LAWS

UNDULATOR
ELECTRON BEAM
AT NEAR SPEED
OF LIGHT

ELECTRON
ACCELERATOR

Several high-power laser systems
have been developed over the last few
years to test their operational effectiveness. Here are a few of them.

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The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) is
mounted on the USS Ponce and deployed
to the Persian Gulf to provide shortrange ship defense. This system has six
COHERENT
LASER
welding lasers that are directed (nonBEAM
coherently) at a single target. It can
be set to low power to create a strong
enough signal to dazzle a person's eyes
or high level (30 kW) to destroy weapons. In its high-power mode, it is capable
of destroying drones or small boats (like
those used by pirates or terrorists) at
Figure 2: A free electron laser generates a very high power coherent laser beam by passing a high
1.6 km range in as little as two seconds.
Figure
2: Aoffree
electron
laser generates
a very
high power
speed
stream
electrons
through
an undulating
magnetic
field.coherent laser beam by
Follow-on weapons are expected to outpassing a high speed stream of electrons through an undulating magnetic field.
boats (like those used in the filming of the movie Captain
put 100-300 kW to give the weapon adPhillips) are seen to burst into flames.
ditional operational range. Since optical signals attenuate by
Target acquisition and tracking for LaWS is provided by the
the square of range, increasing the weapon's output power by
radar that is part of the Phalanx close in weapon system.
an order of magnitude would more than triple its range.
The US Navy has made it very clear that LaWS is meant
There are several dramatic videos on the Internet that show
to supplement existing kinetic weapons (guns and missiles)
the USS Ponce destroying various targets with LaWS. After a
rather than to replace them, since laser propagation can be
few seconds, unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and small speed
degraded by dust, smoke and other atmospheric conditions.
However the ability to rapidly engage many targets and the extremely low cost-per-shot (a few cents) make the LaWS a valuable enhancement to ship protection capability.

G-BAD DE OTM
The Ground Based Directed Energy On-The-Move (G-BAD DE
OTM) system is similar to the LaWS. It is a defensive weapon
for the US Marine Corps to provide protection against UAVs,
supersonic missiles and mortars. Initially designed for operation at 10 kW, it's output power is soon expected to be
increased to 30 kW. It will be mounted on HUMVEEs or Joint
Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs). Fire-control functions will be
supported by a newly developed phased array radar.

OTHER SYSTEMS
There are several similar medium-power laser systems in
development. Some of these systems use fiber lasers, and all
seem to use mirrors to focus multiple beams on targets to
achieve adequate destructive power at ranges up to several
kilometers. All of these systems are expected to mature over
the next decade with greater range and more effective control
mechanisms.

WHAT'S NEXT
Next month, we will continue our discussion of directed
energy weapons with consideration of high power microwave
weapons. For your comments and suggestions, Dave Adamy can
be reached at dave@lynxpub.com. a
731165_Steatite.indd 1

3/4/15 7:18 PM


http://www.q-par.com

JED - December 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - December 2015

The View from Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
Letters
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
2015 AOC Award Winners
SIGINT on the Border
Jamming Down Under
Commercial Airliners: Still Vulnerable to MANPADS
New Products
Threat Monitor
EW 101
Report from the 2015 AOC Pacific Conference
Report from the 2015 AOC CEMA Conference
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - December 2015 - cover1
JED - December 2015 - cover2
JED - December 2015 - igc
JED - December 2015 - OGC
JED - December 2015 - 3
JED - December 2015 - 4
JED - December 2015 - 5
JED - December 2015 - The View from Here
JED - December 2015 - 7
JED - December 2015 - Conferences Calendar
JED - December 2015 - 9
JED - December 2015 - Courses Calendar
JED - December 2015 - 11
JED - December 2015 - From the President
JED - December 2015 - 13
JED - December 2015 - Letters
JED - December 2015 - The Monitor
JED - December 2015 - 16
JED - December 2015 - 17
JED - December 2015 - 18
JED - December 2015 - 19
JED - December 2015 - 20
JED - December 2015 - 21
JED - December 2015 - 22
JED - December 2015 - 23
JED - December 2015 - 24
JED - December 2015 - 25
JED - December 2015 - 26
JED - December 2015 - 27
JED - December 2015 - 28
JED - December 2015 - 29
JED - December 2015 - Washington Report
JED - December 2015 - 31
JED - December 2015 - World Report
JED - December 2015 - 33
JED - December 2015 - 2015 AOC Award Winners
JED - December 2015 - 35
JED - December 2015 - 36
JED - December 2015 - 37
JED - December 2015 - 38
JED - December 2015 - 39
JED - December 2015 - 40
JED - December 2015 - 41
JED - December 2015 - 42
JED - December 2015 - 43
JED - December 2015 - SIGINT on the Border
JED - December 2015 - 45
JED - December 2015 - 46
JED - December 2015 - 47
JED - December 2015 - 48
JED - December 2015 - 49
JED - December 2015 - 50
JED - December 2015 - 51
JED - December 2015 - 52
JED - December 2015 - 53
JED - December 2015 - 54
JED - December 2015 - 55
JED - December 2015 - 56
JED - December 2015 - 57
JED - December 2015 - Jamming Down Under
JED - December 2015 - 59
JED - December 2015 - 60
JED - December 2015 - 61
JED - December 2015 - 62
JED - December 2015 - 63
JED - December 2015 - 64
JED - December 2015 - 65
JED - December 2015 - 66
JED - December 2015 - 67
JED - December 2015 - Commercial Airliners: Still Vulnerable to MANPADS
JED - December 2015 - 69
JED - December 2015 - 70
JED - December 2015 - 71
JED - December 2015 - 72
JED - December 2015 - 73
JED - December 2015 - 74
JED - December 2015 - 75
JED - December 2015 - New Products
JED - December 2015 - 77
JED - December 2015 - Threat Monitor
JED - December 2015 - 79
JED - December 2015 - 80
JED - December 2015 - 81
JED - December 2015 - EW 101
JED - December 2015 - 83
JED - December 2015 - 84
JED - December 2015 - 85
JED - December 2015 - Report from the 2015 AOC Pacific Conference
JED - December 2015 - 87
JED - December 2015 - 88
JED - December 2015 - 89
JED - December 2015 - Report from the 2015 AOC CEMA Conference
JED - December 2015 - 91
JED - December 2015 - 92
JED - December 2015 - AOC News
JED - December 2015 - 94
JED - December 2015 - 95
JED - December 2015 - 96
JED - December 2015 - Index of Advertisers
JED - December 2015 - JED Quick Look
JED - December 2015 - cover3
JED - December 2015 - cover4
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