Total ship integration of a Free Electron Laser (FEL)
Anderson, Eric J.
Calvano, Charles N.
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High-power Free Electron Lasers (FELs), capable of stopping an incoming anti-ship missile, can be an effective addition to the self-defense system of a modem naval combatant. A shipboard FEL must be compact, efficient, and capable of reliable operation in a naval environment. This thesis explores the feasibility of integrating a 1MW infrared FEL aboard a surface combatant from a Total Ships Systems perspective. A study of system aspects including vibrational effects and ship/weapon interfaces will be addressed to determine the overall ship impact A 1 MW FEL requires 10 MW of electrical power from the shipboard prime power system if run continuously or approximately 2 MW using energy storage. A DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class Destroyer has sufficient reserve generating capacity to produce the required electrical power for the FEL. This prime power electrical distribution system is compatible with the ship's main propulsion gas turbines and weighs 42900 kg and occupies 35 m3. Shipboard vibrations, which will have the greatest influence on the FEL, are generally characterized at frequencies below 50 Hz and have amplitudes approaching 900 micrometers. The effect of these vibrations can be reduced to an acceptable level which will permit continuous operation of the FEL in the maritime environment. From a Total Ship Systems perspective the FEL can be accommodated in a DDG-51 class Destroyer with negligible impact.
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