Atmospheric Characterization of the Marine Base Layer for a Submarine Based High Energy Laser
Colson, William B.
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The US Navy is developing lasers for surface and helicopter platforms to combat airborne and surface maritime threats. While these efforts mature, the Division of Undersea Warfare (OPNAV N97) is investigating the feasibility of implementing an HEL system on Virginia Class Submarine (VCS) BLK V platforms and beyond. An important aspect of this research is that the results can be used to develop Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) for this potential capability. These CONOPS will be informed by the limitations of HEL systems imposed by the physical environment. This study seeks to characterize the relevant atmospheric propagation phenomena at the marine base layer (ocean surface up to 15 feet) for the purposes of estimating laser performance. This, in turn, will inform CONOPS for employment of a 30-50 kW HEL weapon from a submarine.
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