Integrating the FEL on an all-electric ship
Allen, Charles A.
Colson, William B.
Armstead, Robert L.
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This thesis examines the feasibility of placing the free electron laser (FEL) on the all-electric ship. The power required by the FEL and the tolerance of the FEL to vibrations is determined using computer simulations. Methods of reducing the vibrations using vibration isolation and active alignment are described. The simulations show that the all-electric ship will provide more than enough power to operate the FEL. The results also indicate that there must be methods to reduce the effect of ship vibrations in order for the FEL to reach the desired output power of one to three megawatts. The thesis also describes the physical dimensions of the FEL as well as its weight and cost, and compares these figures to other ship systems. Overall the simulations and the research show that it is reasonable that a highpowered FEL can be developed for use as a weapon on the all-electric ship. While developing such a weapon will be an engineering challenge the capability to do so has been demonstrated.
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