Free Electron Laser material damage studies
McGinnis, Roger D.
Thomson, R. W.
Short, L. R.
Colson, W. B.
Shinn, M. D.
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Today's surface ships are faced with an increased vulnerability to anti-ship cruise missiles, due to a change from operating in open oceans to primarily operating in the world's littorals. One possible solution to counter this threat is the use of a high-energy laser to destroy the missiles in flight. The Free Electron Laser is possibly the best choice of lasers for a marine environment since its wavelength can be changed over a wide range allowing the operator to choose the best wavelength to transmit through the atmosphere. Material damage studies on various anti-ship cruise missile materials were carried out at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF) in Newport News, Virginia. Experimental procedures presented in this report allow a scaled down laser of a few hundred to a few thousand watts to evaluate the damage from a weapon size laser of the megawatt class. The EEL beam bombards the target with a steady stream of picosecond length pulses at rates of 18MHz or greater. No other experiments have previously been done to explore the effects of the EEL pulse on materials. This report contains the work of several theses conducted at the Naval Postgraduate School over the past two years, and has been a productive cooperation among NPS, TJNAF, NRL, and NSWD at Port Hueneme, to the benefit of the Department of Defense.
The views expressed in this thesis are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
NPS Report NumberNPS-PH-01-001
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