Avenger Laser

Sub-scale and Full-Scale Aerial Targets and RPAs - Remotely-Piloted Aircraft
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popcorn

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Unread post02 Mar 2017, 16:45

If they can find the money,an Avenger with a 150kW laser could be tested this year. Just do it.

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/20 ... n%20Report
Drones Armed With High-Energy Lasers May Arrive In 2017

Flying military robots armed with high-energy lasers? It’s a future that is exciting, terrifying — and perhaps just two years away.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., or GA-ASI, the San Diego-based company that makes the Predator and Reaper drones, is undertaking a privately funded study to integrate a 150-kilowatt solid-state laser onto its Avenger (née Predator-C) drone. If the company succeeds, a drone with a high-energy laser will be a reality at some point in 2017, company executives told Defense One.

“We’re funded right now to develop a laser module compatible with the aircraft and study putting it on the Avenger,” Michael Perry, Vice President for Mission Systems at GA-ASI, told Defense One. “We hope to be funded to do that,” he said.

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post12 Dec 2017, 16:33

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2017/1 ... sed-laser/

MDA awards contracts for a drone-based laser design
By: Jen Judson
12Dec17  

WASHINGTON —
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded three contracts to develop preliminary designs for a UAV-based, multi-kilowatt-class laser to demonstrate beam stabilization technology. Lockheed Martin and General Atomics were chosen to deliver designs in October and November, and Boeing was awarded a contract Dec. 11. Each contract is worth roughly $9 million. For the past several years, MDA has pursued an incremental directed-energy development path that “involved scaling laser power levels in the laboratory, demonstrating precision tracking from unmanned airborne platforms and investigating the feasibility of operating a multi-kilowatt class laser on an airborne platform,” Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, MDA’s director, told Defense News in a statement. MDA formally began the Low Power Laser Demonstrator program in 2015 when it awarded concept design contracts to five prime integrator companies: Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Industry concepts were designed to meet MDA requirements and assess the feasibility, schedule and cost of building and testing a laser-equipped demonstrator, Greaves said. MDA used those designs to help define the requirements for a flight test program, he added. The demonstrator will consist of a tracking laser, a defensive laser and a beam-control system integrated onto an unmanned aircraft that can fly at high altitudes.

The companies chosen to develop demonstrators will be responsible for selecting an airborne platform and completing an initial design of the lasers and beam-control system, according to Greaves. “A manned aircraft could be used, but the laser and beam control system must operate from a ground control station to buy down the risk of transitioning to a UAV in the future,” Greaves said. The three contractors will develop preliminary designs in the first phase and final designs during the second phase, which is expected to begin in late 2018 and will last for roughly one year. Phase 2 will end with a critical design review. Timelines are dependent on the results of the phase prior, according to Greaves. During Phase 3, which may begin in 2019 and wrap up toward the end of 2023 if everything stays on track, one or more designs will be built and flight tested, Greaves said. The phase will culminate in a series of airborne tests that “demonstrate the ability to acquire a missile in flight and hold the laser beam steadily on the target at threat representative ranges,” Greaves said. “MDA will assess the merits of continued competition at each phase,” he noted.

The Low Power Laser Demonstrator program is part of MDA’s efforts to develop and demonstrate directed-energy and laser technologies that could be integrated into the Ballistic Missile Defense System, Greaves said. “We are actively testing a broad range of potential concepts that could be deployed on a variety of platforms,” he said. One potential concept, according to Greaves, is exploring a UAV-mounted laser that could destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles in the boost phase at long standoff ranges. That requires precision tracking and “a highly stable, lightweight, accurately pointed laser beam,” Greaves said. The low-powered demonstrator is an incremental demonstration of the technologies required to possibly get to those capabilities, he added. “We are currently testing a number of technologies to determine if this is a viable concept,” Greaves said. “Based on the results of these and other tests, we will work closely with the [Pentagon] and Congress to determine the best way to integrate directed energy and laser sensing into the missile defense system.”
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Unread post12 Dec 2017, 16:41

https://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1392667/

Release No: CR-237-17
Dec. 8, 2017

The Boeing Co., Huntington Beach, California is being awarded an $8,966,976 competitive, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) Phase 1 effort. No options are contemplated. Under this new contract, the contractor will perform the next step for the LPLD effort that addresses laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low power laser on an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The work will be performed in Huntington Beach, California; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 3, 2018. The period of performance is nine months from Dec. 6, 2017, through Sept. 3, 2018.

This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website through an Advanced Technology Innovation Broad Agency Announcement HQ0147-15-ATI-BAA. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and engineering funds in the amount of $2,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Missile Defense Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (HQ0277-18-C-0003).

Release No: CR-215-17
Nov. 6, 2017

General Atomics - Electromagnetic Systems Group, San Diego, California, is being awarded an $8,883,385 competitive cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) Phase 1 effort. No options are contemplated. Under this new contract, the contractor will perform the next step for the LPLD effort that addresses laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low power laser on an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The work will be performed in San Diego, California; and Poway, California, with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2018. The period of performance is nine months from Nov. 1, 2017, through July 31, 2018.

This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website through Advanced Technology Innovation Broad Agency Announcement HQ0147-15-ATI-BAA. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and engineering funds in the amount of $2,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Missile Defense Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (HQ0277-18-C-0002). (Awarded Nov. 1, 2017)

Release No: CR-194-17
Oct. 5, 2017

Lockheed Martin Corp., Sunnyvale, California, is being awarded a $9,400,015 competitive cost-plus-fixed- fee contract for the Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) Phase 1 effort. No options are contemplated. Under this new contract, the contractor will perform the next step for the LPLD effort that addresses laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low power laser on an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California; Palo Alto, California; Louisville, Colorado; and Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an estimated completion date of July 5, 2018. The period of performance is nine-months from Oct. 6, 2017 through July 5, 2018.

This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website through an Advanced Technology Innovation broad agency announcement HQ0147-15-ATI-BAA. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and engineering funds in the amount of $2,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. The Missile Defense Agency, Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the contracting activity (HQ0277-18-C-0001).
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Unread post13 Dec 2017, 02:26

This is particularly relevant: http://aviationweek.com/technology/gene ... -now-ready [no subscription / registration required on this article]
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Unread post13 Dec 2017, 02:55

Dragon029 wrote:This is particularly relevant: http://aviationweek.com/technology/gene ... -now-ready [no subscription / registration required on this article]


....Thanks, I saw and forgot to add this article (thus my day job) and might be a spin-off from either their EMAL systems development or Blitzer Rail Gun system......question for the resident physicists......"The company has responded to an Office of Naval Research (ONR) solicitation for a 150-kw laser weapon suitable for installation ..... using only ship power and cooling."

...Would the batteries be podded in 2,000lb. or 5,000lb. arrangements for wing "hard points" or weapons bay connections?

...At 15,000 ft.(on the average) how much "cooling" can be extracted at 6-900kts. (fast mover) or 300kts. (fast drone) given existing heat transfer technologies?

...One wonders if firing sizable (150-kw.) lasers , also contributes to the IR presence of the attacking a/c or platform (and for how long)....(sun or star in the sky from the IR perspective)?

....inquiring minds want to know??
:wink:
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Unread post13 Dec 2017, 04:42

...Would the batteries be podded in 2,000lb. or 5,000lb. arrangements for wing "hard points" or weapons bay connections?


The latest and greatest commercial lithium cells have an energy density of over 850Wh/L and specific energy of over 300Wh/kg.

If we also were to assume that the laser's efficiency was around 30% (let's just say it needs 500kW to power it) then to have about 30 seconds of lasing energy (a few shots with the batteries being recharged before / after combat) then you'd need only around 17.5kg of batteries to power the system (factoring in a max discharge of 80%), which would take up around 7 litres (~1.5 gal), taking into account the cylindrical packing, but not including power management electronics / wiring.

You'll probably want / need more batteries to increase the lasing time, or to increase the lifespan of the batteries, but the point here is that you'll likely be able to fit the batteries into the same pod / bay as the laser itself (which is desirable too, because then you don't have to run extra-large wires through the jet and lose efficiency in the wiring).

...At 15,000 ft.(on the average) how much "cooling" can be extracted at 6-900kts. (fast mover) or 300kts. (fast drone) given existing heat transfer technologies?


I'm no expert on this, but looking at this document about the APG-79 for example, we might be able to expect high single or low double digit kilowatts of cooling capacity.

...One wonders if firing sizable (150-kw.) lasers , also contributes to the IR presence of the attacking a/c or platform (and for how long)....(sun or star in the sky from the IR perspective)?


I imagine it'd depend on the optics and atmosphere, but in most videos I've seen (where the camera and laser aren't on the same mount) the laser beam is highly visible to IR cameras:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9jA9jQZ7Yw

At higher altitudes it might not be as visible however.
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Unread post13 Dec 2017, 21:17

neptune wrote:...One wonders if firing sizable (150-kw.) lasers , also contributes to the IR presence of the attacking a/c or platform (and for how long)....(sun or star in the sky from the IR perspective)?

....inquiring minds want to know??
:wink:

Simple laser pointers can already show backscatter off particles at night for the naked eye.

A 150kW laser will probably ionize enough air in it's beam to be visible from long ranges by modern sensors.

I do not think the laser will use a pulse short enough to cause any optical breakdown photoionization at 150kW. This since any optical breakdown will leak energy and defocus the beam.
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Unread post15 Dec 2017, 04:54

popcorn wrote:

(Off topic)...Them drones had "OH" tail codes. Springfield methinks?? (As a Buckeye by birth I catch those things. :lol: ) :thumb:

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