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Recent Developments and Current Projects in HEL Technology: Harro Ackermann - HEL-JTO


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Recent Developments and Current Projects in HEL Technology: Harro Ackermann - HEL-JTO

  1. 1. High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO)Recent Developments and Current Projects in HEL Technology February 2012 Cleared for Public Release, 377ABW-2011-1103
  2. 2. Outline• Introduction to HEL-JTO• JTO Technology Thrusts• JTO Major Projects• Service Programs• Summary
  3. 3. High Energy Lasers (HEL)Attributes• Precision engagement at a distance• Low collateral damage• Re-usable• Less than lethal through lethal effectsSystem Level Challenges• Compact, light-weight, and rugged systems• Sufficient power on target• System reliability• Cost effectiveness / alternativesHEL Target Effects• Jam/spoof or destroy optical sensors• Thermal damage
  4. 4. HEL Science &TechnologyChallenges Opportunities High-Power Lasers High-Power Lasers• Thermal management for solid-state lasers • Efficient and reliable diode-arrays, high brightness diodes• Eye-safer wavelengths and development of novel gain media • High-power fibers• Advanced processing and characterization of • Beam combination of multiple high-power fibers ceramics • New ceramic materials• Short-pulse (femtosecond) phenomena • Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers Beam Control Beam Control• Aim-point maintenance, precision tracking, and jitter • Advanced adaptive optics control • Advanced disturbance mitigation schemes• Propagation through turbulent atmosphere, through boundary layers, and in maritime environment • Phased arrays• Windows, coatings and active optics HEL Lethality, Modeling & Simulation• Accurate prediction of lethality for future systems• Battle damage assessment• Detailed end-to-end physics and system level models
  5. 5. HEL-JTO Formation• FY00 National Defense JTO Charter: Authorization Act request to • Advocate HEL technology develop laser plan development for DoD• FY00 High Energy Laser • Coordinate among the Services Executive Review Panel and Agencies chartered • Develop technology investment strategy for DoD Report of the • Manage a portfolio of High Energy Laser government/industry/academia Executive Review Panel R&D projects Department of Defense Laser Master Plan A Coordinated Approach for March 24, 2000 HEL Weapons System Development
  6. 6. HEL-JTO Organization ASD (R&E) •Operational Air Force S&T Oversight Technology Council S&T Executives Executive (Army,Navy, AF, •Admin MDA, DARPA, DTRA) Oversight Director Contractor AFRL/RD Technical and Support Administrative•Contracting Support Budget/Finance Executive Assistant/•Financial Network/DE2AC•Public Affairs•Security Army Navy Air Force MDA Representative Representative Representative DARPA Tech Area, Tech Area, Tech Area, Contracts Monitor Contracts Monitor Contracts Monitor Technology Area Working Groups Approved for Public Release
  7. 7. HEL-JTO Technology Thrust Area Laser Devices Beam Control - Solid State Atmospheric Propagation - Gas - Free Electron - Thermal Blooming - Turbulence Effects Laser-Target Interaction Heat Beam PointingThermal Management Combining Beam Conditioning & Adaptive Optics Heat Wavefront Windows & Power Conditioning Sensor Mirrors Illuminator Advanced Fire Control Example: Solid Concepts State Laser Engagement & System Modeling Approved for Public Release
  8. 8. Elements of a Practical Laser for Military Applications• Scalability (mission requirements)• Efficiency (size and weight)• Beam Quality (gain media thermalcontrol/correction, propagation)• Simplicity (logistics, packaging)• Robustness (reliability)•Wavelength (collateral eye safety,diffraction effects, atmosphericpropagation)•System thermal management•Platform integration
  9. 9. Outline• Introduction to HEL-JTO• JTO Technology Thrusts• JTO Major Projects• Service Programs• Summary
  10. 10. Solid State Laser Thrust Area• Advantages – All electric - logistically friendly – Smaller, lighter – Good propagation window at 1 micron; eyesafer wavelengths available• Opportunities – High power fibers – Combination of multiple fibers – Ceramic gain material• Challenges: – Efficient, reliable and very bright diode arrays – Increase power without thermal distortions – Efficiency
  11. 11. Solid State Laser Portfolio• High power fibers• Beam combining techniques• High Power Fiber Components Er-doped PCF High Power Laser Fiber Dielectric Edge Mirrors (DEMs) Fiber Stacked Beam Combiner Fusion Spliced All-Fiber Isolator Oscillators
  12. 12. Solid State Laser Portfolio•Ceramic gain materials•Eye safer wavelength (slabs and fibers)•Efficient and High Temperature diode arrays 10%Yb:Lu2O3 ceramic VCSEL Array assembled on Patterned Surface Composite Heat SpreaderEmission of lasers in the eye- safe wavelength range and atmospheric transmission
  13. 13. Gas Laser Thrust Area• Advantages – Can scale to VERY high powers• Opportunities – Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers (DPAL) – Efficient Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Lasers (COIL)• Challenges (DPAL): – Narrow pump wavelength – Flowing media – Atmospheric Propagation• Challenges (COIL): – Logistics – Efficiency and size
  14. 14. Gas Laser Portfolio Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers • Diode Laser Pumped Alkali Vapor Lasers with Exciplex- Assisted Absorption • High Power Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers and Analog Systems • Three Dimensional, Time Dependent Simulation of Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers • Scaling of a Flowing Alkali Laser System • Propagation Studies of Alkali Lasers 12”-telescope & tunable diode laserVisualization of a previous flowing DPAL absorption spectrometer to study alkali lasersimulation wavelengths
  15. 15. Gas Laser Portfolio Chemical Oxygen Iodine Lasers • Catalytic Enhancement of Singlet Oxygen Yield and Small Signal Gain in EOIL Systems • High Pressure COIL • Very High Flux, High Efficiency COIL for Improved Specific Power Counter Flow SOG Reduced laser weight and volume
  16. 16. Free Electron Laser Thrust• Advantages • Tunable wavelength for maritime propagation • Shipboard protection against asymmetric threat • No hazardous gases or chemicals• Opportunities • All electric ship integration • Megawatt potential• Challenges • Injectors and Cathodes • High Intensity Optical Components • Efficient wiggler
  17. 17. Free Electron Laser Portfolio Near-concentric• Evaluation of Advanced Photocathodes for wigglerHigh Current Injectors Near-confocal• Efficient Photocathodes with CurrentAmplification for High Power FELs• FEL Injector Technology• Ring Resonator FEL Ring-near-confocal
  18. 18. Free Electron Laser Portfolio• Investigation of Longitudinal Space Charge• Novel FEL Cavity Optic• Optimization of FEL System Wall-Plug Efficiency e- source, RF, cryo power RF, cryo power beam power into dump DC power beam power (magnets) back to RF beam power out of RF FEL power out
  19. 19. Beam Control Thrust AreaMission: • ChallengesEfficiently transmit very high optical – Platform Jitterpower from a laser source on a dynamic – Atmosphericplatform into a small spot on a distant disturbancesdynamic target – High Power Optics/Coatings – Aimpoint detection and maintenance – Aero-optic disturbance • Opportunities – Advanced algorithms – High speed, very dense deformable mirrors – Wavefront sensors
  20. 20. Beam Control Components & Subsystems Beam Control Beam Path Conditioning Beam Alignment, Positioning, & Inertial Stabilization Atmosphere Beam Wavefront Correction Beam Beam Beam Beam Sampling Beam Beam TargetGeneration Sizing Sizing & Sharing Expansion Pointing Sensor Noise Wavefront Sensing Track Sensing WFOV Beacon Illuminator Track Illuminator Sensing Algorithms & Processing Algorithms & Processing Acquisition Illuminator Maintenance/Safety/Diagnostics Platform Motion Aero-optics Characterization & Modeling Performance Diagnostics Atmospheric Characterization & Modeling Infrastructure
  21. 21. Beam Control Portfolio• Propagation Studies• Algorithm Development• Advanced Adaptive Optics• Focal Plane Arrays• Integrated Demonstrations• Light Weight Beam Director
  22. 22. Advanced Concepts Thrust• Novel Concept Exploration• Too “Risky”(or too Hard) for Other Thrusts• Includes: • Advanced Materials • Beam Combination • Novel Architectures
  23. 23. Advanced Concepts Portfolio• Passive Phasing Analysis• Large Linewidth Spectral Beam Combining• Gradient Doped Ceramic Laser Gain Media• Hollow-core Fiber Laser• 2-D VCSEL Pump• A Liquid Crystal Spatial Light Modulator DM H Detector• Holographic Adaptive Laser Optics Systems Input Output
  24. 24. Advanced Concepts Portfolio• Rare-Earth Doped Sapphire Laser• Obscuration-Free Phase Locking of HEL Tiled Fiber Array• Anti-Reflective Surface Structures• Coherent Beam using Diffractive Optical Laser Transform Elements Array Lens DOE Output Beam Coupler Sampler Output Beam Phase controller Detector
  25. 25. Modeling & Simulation Thrust Area Develop tools to support the HEL community Science and Military Utility Engineering The investigation of the military worth of future tactical HELThe application of well grounded systems, employment methods and science to HEL research and supporting decision aids. development. Focusing on the Representations of HEL in current development and support of and future DoD Models. computational tools Integrated Seamless combination of engineering performance/analysis modeling & simulation tools with computational warfighter support tools
  26. 26. Lethality Thrust Area• Analysis and Test to Determine Lethal Capability of Lasers – Full Scale Tests performed – Tools and Diagnostics for the HEL community – Laser Beam Diagnostic Software and Hardware – Laser Vulnerability Tool (LVT) – Communications to Government and Industry • Laser Lethality Knowledge Base (LLKB) 120mm Mortar
  27. 27. Outline• Introduction to HEL-JTO• JTO Technology Thrusts• JTO Major Projects• Service Programs• Summary
  28. 28. Robust Electric Laser Initiative (RELI) - Motivation• Build on JHPSSL and Joint Program successes• Substantially improve system efficiency• Combine laser performance goals with size, weight, ruggedization and affordability goals Joint HEL-JTO, Army and Air Force Program with Navy interest
  29. 29. RELI Push towards Common Goal: Robust, Fieldable, Tailorable Electric Laser Power Supply (Platform Dependent) Adaptive Optics Solid-State Laser Diode Beam Laser Array Director Amplifier RELI: Robust, Fieldable Laser System Tailorable to desired platform Thermal Management System Efficient, lightweight, small, affordable (Platform Dependent)RELI will focus on laser efficiency and beam quality and minimizing weight and volume. It will not develop TMS or power production and conditioning technology. 29
  30. 30. RELI Performance Metrics• Performance analyzed & measured in three critical areas:• Laser Metric Photons Out Electric Available – Power in the Bucket Efficiency (PIBE) Laser EO Efficiency Bucket – Power, Efficiency and Beam Quality – Analyze Phase 1; Full Demo Phase 2• Physical Metric – Power/Weight – Power/Volume – Analyze Phase 1; Partial Demo Phase 2• Fieldability Metric (i.e. Temp, Vibration, Dust) – Based on Anticipated Environments – Analyze Phase 1; Partial Demo Phase 2  Scalability Scalable to 100kW Minimum Technical Justification Risk Reduction Approved for Public Release
  31. 31. RELI Summary• The ROBUST ELECTRIC LASER INITIATIVE will lead to rugged efficient technology coupling well with DARPA and other DoD initiatives – Provides options for light weight, militarily useful, high power laser systems• Revised laser metric best represents operational requirements – Allows contractors more flexibility in system design• Natural JHPSSL follow-on of sources for next generation programs: – Army: High Energy Laser-Technology Demonstrator – Air Force: Electric Laser on a Large Aircraft – Navy: TACAIR Future Naval Capability Approved for Public Release
  32. 32. Outline• Introduction to HEL-JTO• JTO Technology Thrusts• JTO Major Projects• Service Programs• Summary Approved for Public Release
  33. 33. Army Solid State Laser Testbed Experiment (SSLTE) Objective: Perform Near-Term Demonstrations Using the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) Beam Control System and the JHPSSL Device at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF) • Provides Early Field Experiment Capability to Further SSL Technology Development • Enables Mission Area Assessment Decisions and Allows Exploration of Best Application for HELs • Leverages Existing Assets to Provide Early High Power Risk Reduction Testing for Planned HEL TD JHPSSL Device • Establishes a SSL Testbed at HELSTF for Continued Test and Evaluation Operations by the THEL Army and DoD BCS “Secure the High Ground”33 33
  34. 34. High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator Weapons System Development Deployable, Mobile, More Self Sustaining Lethal Potential Secondary Mission: Capability Surveillance / Target Capable of Operating in a Full Spectrum, Networked/ Information Based Battlefield EnvironmentProvides Joint ServiceForce Protection (Area) ExternalWeapon Capability SensorModularity/Open Fire UnitArchitecture Allows forExpansion to Future Force BMC4ISolid State Laser Demonstrate in a Relevant Operational Environment at HELSTF that aTechnologies Scalable to Mobile Solid State Laser Weapon System can Provide an EffectiveCombat Vehicles (Small Mission Capability to Counter Rocket, Artillery, And Mortar Projectiles.Unit Protection) “Secure the High Ground” 10022008CG-AUSA001b34
  35. 35. Navy Laser Weapon System Test Results• Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), with support from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren executed LaWS testing in June 2009 & June 2010• Successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed in flight UAVs at NAWC China Lake and San Nicholas Island• Nine targets total were engaged and destroyed in progressively challenging tests
  37. 37. Summary• Comprehensive JTO portfolio advancing the state of the art in HEL technologies• RELI – will develop efficient, light weight laser sources• HEL Demonstrations & Service Initiatives – JHPSSL Integration at HELSTF – Army – HEL TD – Army – Airborne Laser ‘Shoot-down’ – Missile Defense Agency – Laser Weapon System-Navy – Maritime Self-Defense – Navy An Exciting Time for High Energy Laser Technology Advancement