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U.S. Navy Laser Will Zap Enemy Weapons Out of the Sky.

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Nine months ahead of schedule, the U.S. Navy has produced a megawatt laser with the potential to do things like zap enemy planes out of the sky and disable missile threats.

To power the Free Electron Laser (FEL), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) created an electron injector necessary to fuel the megawatt beam. To support the intense amount of light to focus such a laser beam, it requires a lot of power. Some lasers run on crystals, others are fueled by chemicals. The FEL passes supercharged electrons through magnetic fields, and the new injector supplies the laser with a huge source of electrons at a very high speed.

"The FEL is expected to provide future U.S. Naval forces with a near-instantaneous laser ship defense in any maritime environment throughout the world," ONR's FEL program manager Quentin Saulter said in a press relase.

The FEL is "the future of Navy ship protection," the ONR said. It can take down multiple enemy weapons at a time. It's not a totally new technology, though. The FEL has actually existed since 1976, but until now it hasn't been able to reach megawatt power. Additionally, moisture and aerosols in the ocean air can make it difficult for the FEL to be effective on Navy ships.

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Free Electron Laser Weapon
Free Electron Laser by BAKEDMEDIA®
U.S. Navy Laser Will Zap Enemy Weapons Out of the Sky

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文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:30

In future shipborne applications the laser will be powered by the ship’s main generator, creating virtually unlimited ammunition. It will provide ultra-precise, speed-of-light defensive weapon capability necessary to meet emerging threats, such as hyper-velocity cruise missiles.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:31

The electron laser is generated by passing a beam of high-energy electrons through a series of powerful magnetic fields, generating an intense emission of laser light that can disable or destroy targets. In future shipborne applications the laser will be powered by the ship’s main generator, creating virtually unlimited ammunition. It will provide ultra-precise, speed-of-light defensive weapon capability necessary to meet emerging threats, such as hyper-velocity cruise missiles. Each vessel carrying this weapon will operate a single FEL source feeding up to 10 beam directors, engaging multiple targets simultaneously at different directions, altitudes and ranges.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:33

ONR’s FEL project began as a basic science and technology program in the 1980s and matured into a working 14-kilowatt prototype. In April 2009, the Boeing Company was awarded an Office of Naval Research contract valued at up to $163 million to develop and demonstrate a 100-kW class FEL weapon system. “Two unique attributes of FELs are the ability to tune the wavelength to maximize transmission of the laser through the marine atmosphere, and the ability to aim for a single small spot on the target,” said Ed Pogue, FEL program manager for Boeing. “The combination of these two effects allows the system to destroy the target in the minimum time.”

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:36

For more than thirty years, the Army and other DOD organizations have developed and tested a variety of directed energy devices, including both chemical and solid state lasers. High-power chemical lasers proved to be successful in testing against rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM), but by using chemical fuels, would cause a large logistical burden for the warfighter. In 2005 the Army decided to focus on all-electric SSLs, as the lower cost high energy laser (HEL) path to the future, with the only consumable, being diesel fuel for electric generators.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:37

Similar high power lasers are proposed as standard equipment for future manned and unmanned strike aircraft, including the F-35 and future unmanned combat aerial vehicles. The recent successful tests included the Boeing-led Airborne Laser Testbed intercepting ballistic missiles from long range, using powerful chemical lasers which have captured the headlines, but parallel programs employing solid-state lasers are also under progress. Two of the programs expected to reach maturity in the near future, are the U.S. Navy's Free Electron Laser, and the Joint High Power Solid State Laser (J-HPSSL) sponsored by the Army.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:38

The U.S. Army and Navy are progressing toward Missile Defense Recent tests, involving high power laser which have demonstrated, that directed energy weapons are maturing and becoming more feasible, evolving toward weapon-grade systems. The FEL weapon will employ a powerful electrons beam, conducted through a series of powerful magnetic fields, generating an intense emission of laser light that can be used to disable, or destroy high speed cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles, at the speed of light. Such a device does not exist yet, but in March 2010 the Boeing Company, developing the system for the U.S. Navy, has successfully completed the preliminary design of the U.S. Navy's Free Electron Laser (FEL) weapon system, a key step toward building a FEL prototype for realistic tests at sea. Following this milestone the Navy is expected to decide this summer, whether to award additional task orders to Boeing, completing the FEL design and building and operating a laboratory demonstrator.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:39

Another solid-state high-power laser is the Joint High Power Solid State Laser (J-HPSSL) being developed under an effort of the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command. The first of two lasers developed under the program will soon be deployed to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF) in New Mexico. The new facility will employ the solid state laser, coupled with the beam control, command and control systems already built for the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) in the 1990s.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:40

Under the J-HPSSL program the Northrop Grumman laser has reached the 100kW power level threshold for a solid-state laser, demonstrating turn-on time of less than one second and continuous operating time of greater than five minutes, with very good efficiency and beam quality. The system built by Textron Defense Systems has also demonstrated a +100kW operation recently, using a laboratory demonstration device. Textron designers are utilizing the THINZAG, employing a single-aperture power oscillator with unique, scalable optical configuration enabling designers to achieve high average power for use in the operational, weapon-grade applications.

文見亂 - 2011年01月24日 05:43

陶尚 - 2011年01月24日 10:03

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