MODELING ENERGY STORAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGH-ENERGY LASERS ON NAVY SHIPS
Michnewich, Daniel A.
Blau, Joseph A.
Johnson, Bonnie W.
Pollman, Anthony G.
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The Navy requires a weapon system that effectively counters swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and small boats to improve the ship’s self-defense capability. The Navy is studying the efficacy of laser weapon systems against these threat classes as a complement to existing kinetic weapons. While laser weapon systems provide several benefits to Navy ships, they are susceptible to environmental effects and have greater power requirements than available. Therefore, it is necessary to assess energy storage systems to meet these power requirements. This study determined the size of the energy storage system to defeat enemy swarms that threaten the safety of U.S. Navy ships. The study utilized Atmospheric Naval Postgraduate School Code for High Energy Laser Optical Propagation (ANCHOR) and a discrete event model to analytically determine the dwell time a laser weapon system requires for hard kills on ASCM, UAV and fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC) threats in a variety of operational conditions. This research varied the types of threats and the environmental effects of visibility and air/sea temperature to determine their impact on laser performance. Finally, this study conducted a brief comparison of three different types of energy storage systems that support the results of the model.
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