F-35 High Energy Laser

F-35 Armament, fuel tanks, internal and external hardpoints, loadouts, and other stores.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post08 Aug 2017, 16:19

Laser-proof drones

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"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post08 Aug 2017, 16:25

:devil: This works for me = Ca plane pour moi :doh:

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Unread post08 Aug 2017, 16:46

SpudmanWP wrote:Laser-proof drones

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"There I was. . ."
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steve2267

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Unread post30 Aug 2017, 14:02

An interesting news article shedding a little light on how one obtains 1MW of energy from a gas turbine...

GE reveals major achievements in hybrid electric propulsion

25 August, 2017 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Stephen Trimble Washington DC

GE Aviation has broken a two-year silence on a major research project in hybrid electric propulsion with a new white paper that discloses several major advances demonstrated in two experiments since 2015 and that confirms the company is in talks with several potential aircraft makers about using the new technology.

Among traditional propulsion suppliers, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce have been most outspoken about efforts to develop new hybrid propulsion technology. Both companies have partnered to develop a 1MW-class hybrid propulsion system for the Aurora Flight Sciences XV-24A, a demonstrator for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

But GE has been working quietly behind the scenes to build the foundational technology for a similar 1MW-sized powerplant with broad applications across military, commercial, business and general aviation markets, according to a white paper published by the company on 25 August.

During two events staged since 2015, GE demonstrated major advances in two key ingredients of any hybrid propulsion system: power generation and electric motors, the document shows.

In the area of power generation, GE modified an F110 engine, a propulsion option for the Boeing F-15 and Lockheed Martin F-16, to generate 1MW of electric power. By siphoning compressed air from the core, GE extracted 250kW from the high-pressure turbine and – in and industry first for a two-shaft engine – 750kW from the low-pressure turbine, according to the white paper.

As a megawatt of electric power is equivalent to 1,341hp, the F110 still has plenty of thrust to continue powering even in a single-engined aircraft. A single F110 can generate up to 32,000lb-thrust, which is equivalent to 44,300hp.

By extracting electric power from both modules of the turbine section, GE has created an architecture with a broad array of potential future applications, including military programmes with an interest in laser weapons.

...

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... 000000taAm


More at the jump...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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steve2267

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Unread post30 Aug 2017, 14:10

Mr. Trimble writes "with a new white paper that discloses..." yet fails to provide a link to said white paper.

My google-fu is weak this morning. All I found is https://www.gepower.com/resources/downloads which appears to be where one can download GE white papers. Yet, this new 1MW gas turbine hybrid engine did not jump out at me, and I have not the time to wrestle it out of that GE website. Perhaps someone else might have more luck than I.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 07:32

L.M. Contract to Develop Compact Airborne High Energy Laser Capabilities
06 Nov 2017 LM PR

"BOTHELL, Wash., The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) awarded Lockheed Martin $26.3 million for the design, development and production of a high power fiber laser. AFRL plans to test the laser on a tactical fighter jet by 2021. The contract is part of AFRL's Self-protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) program, and is a major step forward in the maturation of protective airborne laser systems.

Lockheed Martin is helping the Air Force Research Lab develop and mature high energy laser weapon systems, including the high energy laser pictured in this rendering. Credit: Air Force Research Lab

"Lockheed Martin continues to rapidly advance laser weapon systems and the technologies that make them possible," said Dr. Rob Afzal, senior fellow of laser weapon systems at Lockheed Martin. "We have demonstrated our ability to use directed energy to counter threats from the ground, and look forward to future tests from the air as part of the SHiELD system."

The SHiELD program includes three subsystems:
• SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects (STRAFE), the beam control system, which will direct the laser onto the target
• Laser Pod Research & Development (LPRD), the pod mounted on the tactical fighter jet, which will power and cool the laser
• Laser Advancements for Next-generation Compact Environments (LANCE), the high energy laser itself, which can be trained on adversary targets to disable them

LANCE is designed to operate in a compact environment, and as such, the Lockheed Martin team focused on developing a compact, high efficiency laser within challenging size, weight and power constraints.

"Earlier this year, we delivered a 60 kW-class laser to be installed on a U.S. Army ground vehicle. It's a completely new and different challenge to get a laser system into a smaller, airborne test platform. It's exciting to see this technology mature enough to embed in an aircraft," said Afzal. "The development of high power laser systems like SHiELD show laser weapon system technologies are becoming real. The technologies are ready to be produced, tested and deployed on aircraft, ground vehicles and ships."

Lockheed Martin has more than 40 years of experience developing laser weapon systems. The LANCE contract leverages technology building blocks from internal research and development projects, including the ATHENA system and ALADIN laser, as well as contract experience gained from programs such as the U.S. Army's Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) program."

For more information, visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/directedenergy.

Graphic: "Lockheed Martin is helping the Air Force Research Lab develop and mature high energy laser weapon systems, including the high energy laser pictured in this rendering. Credit: Air Force Research Lab" https://prnewswire2-a.akamaihd.net/p/18 ... 011/type/1


Source: http://news.lockheedmartin.com/2017-11- ... assets_117
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neptune

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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 09:25

steve2267 wrote:Mr. Trimble writes "with a new white paper that discloses..." yet fails to provide a link to said white paper.

My google-fu is weak this morning. All I found is https://www.gepower.com/resources/downloads which appears to be where one can download GE white papers. Yet, this new 1MW gas turbine hybrid engine did not jump out at me, and I have not the time to wrestle it out of that GE website. Perhaps someone else might have more luck than I.


....with the turbine involved in pushing the a/c, the generator has 160kw for the various light bulbs. The power consumption of a laser would be in addition to the existing electrical load rather than an alternate load, so.... how much can the F-35 spare to power a laser? I look forward to the field trials in the C-130s, and the evolutions from that design!
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 14:32

I sounds like energy production is not going to be the stumbling block. Maybe you cannot fly 1.6 Mach balls to the wall and pew pew[p/i] bad guys. On the other hand, we seem to have established that since the F-35 has little difficulty reaching 1.6 Mach, perhaps it could [i] pew pew bad guys at that speed. Maybe you give up a little hard acceleration when pew pewing.

To me the hard questions are:
  • thermal management -- dumping heat generated from the electricity produced and excess waste heat from the laser itself
  • electricity storage for the shot -- mechanical flywheel? electrical capacitors? Or with the fiber laser can you just keep pumping the laser itself and the energy is stored in the coiled / looped fibers until released?

When I originally read about LM's success in beam combining -- taking multiple beams of light from different fibers and coalescing them into a single coherent light beam -- I thought they had solved the DEW problem. The slab lasers are impressive in their own right, but I am not sure they can be made as compact as fiber laser technology? Also, the fibers can be coiled, looped etc. The potential for routing / looping coils of laser fibers in an airframe would seem to be endless. On the other hand, if not designed for maintenance / replacement... fixing a fiber laser or finding the fiber break would be one huge PITA.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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neptune

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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 17:56

[quote="steve2267"]I sounds like energy production is not going to be the stumbling block. ....

....Ok? 160kw generator capacity minus the existing design loads does not lend itself to a very powerful laser. There doesn't appear to be ample?? mechanical room internal to the a/c for additional generating capacity. And....please don't advocate the less than stealthy air driven turbines similar to the EA-18G "pods". Capacitive storage in the weapons bays?? :wink:
:shock:
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 18:20

neptune wrote:
steve2267 wrote:I sounds like energy production is not going to be the stumbling block. ....

....Ok? 160kw generator capacity minus the existing design loads does not lend itself to a very powerful laser. There doesn't appear to be ample?? mechanical room internal to the a/c for additional generating capacity. And....please don't advocate the less than stealthy air driven turbines similar to the EA-18G "pods". Capacitive storage in the weapons bays?? :wink:
:shock:

On an existing F-35 you might be right, but remember that the Bee already has a 22MW extraction device on the front of its engine. The engine loses half it's thrust to make it, but if we are only talking about needing 1MW at best then it sounds like we only need 5% of that reduction, or 2.5% total reduction of SL thrust.
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 18:21

neptune wrote:
steve2267 wrote:I sounds like energy production is not going to be the stumbling block. ....


....Ok? 160kw generator capacity minus the existing design loads does not lend itself to a very powerful laser. There doesn't appear to be ample?? mechanical room internal to the a/c for additional generating capacity. And....please don't advocate the less than stealthy air driven turbines similar to the EA-18G "pods". Capacitive storage in the weapons bays?? :wink:
:shock:


Two thoughts:

First, I was referring back to my August 30, 2017 post wherein I posted an article that stated that GE had made a "breakthrough" in electrical power generation (or extraction) from bleed air from the high and low pressure turbine. The article stated GE had extracted 1MW from an F110. If GE can do it, I figure P&W can figure out how to do it. Or P&W teams with GE (doubtful), or GE gets a foot in the F-35E/L door with an AETP-derived F136+ motor.

Second, P&W already has the F135-PW-600 motor with that gigantic driveline forward. Either attach some additional generator equipment to that spinning hardware (driveshaft or liftfan) or replace the liftfan itself with generator + capacitors. Overly simplistic, perhaps, but possible, mebbe?

I always thought the weapons bays made nice large spaces within which miles of lasering fibers could be wound/coiled/looped.

But I still think power generation is the least problematic issue. Thermal management would appear to be the nutcracker.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 18:43

Once upon a time, I thought why not just extract all the power from the F135-PW-600 and turn it into electricity, then make the liftfan electric. When not running the liftfan, the driveshaft could be used for power generation for other things (e.g. DEW / lasers). However, I think losses in mechanical <> electric power conversion ( turbine -> electric and electric -> liftfan) would mean the F-35BE would lose its vertical landing capability as there would not be enough lift force produced by an electric fan. I'd be happy to be wrong, though.

On the other hand... if one could selectively either power the liftfan -- OR -- a monster generator, then you could still have your STOVL F-35BL while powering a laser or other DEWs when not in Mode 4 (i.e. STO or VL mode). I think this would be possible by NOT engaging the clutch for the liftfan, but rather directing or extracting the mechanical energy of the driveshaft via a generator.

Electric power is created by spinning magnets inside a magnetic field, correct? If magnets (maybe even electromagnets?) could be wrapped around the spinning drive shaft, then an outer ring of magnets (also maybe electromagnets?) "turned on" or mechanically actuated to close in around the drive shaft... might a compact power generator be (relatively) easily constructed?

I'm just pulling concepts out of my *ss. I dunno if this would work. But the mechanical power seems to be readily available.

One additional note. As Spurts has stated... the F135-PW-600 extracts some 22.5MW of power from the gas turbine. I believe I read recently that LM had demonstrated 39% efficiency with their fibre laser technology. If they can divert all the lift fan power to LANCE or son-of-LANCE... we're looking at on-the-order-of a 10MW laser weapon. A lot of if's in that equation... but that could be HUGE. Yeah, you lose half your engine power while charging for a shot, but in many flight regimes you don't need 100% power, and 40-50% is more than enough. The next 20-30 years may be very interesting.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 19:36

I wonder if the laser package will be an american-only feature. I hope so as I really wouldnt like some random arab country with such a strong capability.

Btw the #roadtoalphabird getting smoother and smoother for the 35!
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 20:52

neptune wrote:
steve2267 wrote:I sounds like energy production is not going to be the stumbling block. ....

....Ok? 160kw generator capacity minus the existing design loads does not lend itself to a very powerful laser. There doesn't appear to be ample?? mechanical room internal to the a/c for additional generating capacity. And....please don't advocate the less than stealthy air driven turbines similar to the EA-18G "pods". Capacitive storage in the weapons bays?? :wink:
:shock:


160kw at any given time or total possible?
If you can store that potential up over time, you can then release it in a higher cleaner energy dump.... with losses of course.

Perhaps Flywheel energy storage would fit this application well? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage
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Unread post07 Nov 2017, 21:51

Please note that Neptune's earlier post did not properly quote me.

Archeman, in your post, everyting from the "....Ok? 160kw generator capacity..." onward is Neptune, not me.

I contend that the necessary energy can either be extracted via a driveshaft (ala the F135-PW-600) or via new technologies that GE has demonstrated on an F110 (1MW power extracted from high-pressure and low-pressure turbine bleed air).
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, add dollop of F-117 & gob of F-22, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well, then bake. Whaddya get? An F-35.
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