The shipboard employment of a free electron laser weapon system
Allgaier, Gregory G.
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A megawatt (MW) class Free Electron Laser (FEL) shows promise as a new weapon for antiship cruise missile defense. An FEL weapon system delivers energy at the speed of light at controllable energy levels, giving the war fighter new engagement options. Considerations for this weapon system include employment, design, and stability. In order to reach a MW class laser, system parameters must be optimized and the high power optical beam must be appropriately managed. In a high power FEL, the optical beam could heat and ultimately damage the optical cavity mirrors. One proposed solution is a short Rayleigh length design, which lowers the intensity on the mirrors, but increases sensitivity to vibrations. This thesis shows a that short Rayleigh length FEL will remain stable using current technology and can be designed to achieve a MW of power. Scenarios are then presented to explore some of the engagement options associated with this weapon system.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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