Navy sees the WB8 as power supply for direct energy weapons

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:54 am

EMC2 is most definately not comfortable with cooling. There have been many discussions on materials and methods to support non-pulsed machine, but no metal(or other material) has been bent.

It is obvious that the navy wants this, they have been the prime funder for over twenty years. However, the first afloat plant will go to a surface ship, either a DDG refit or (where my money goes) DDG1000. Timing wise it would be likely the third hull if Nebel tracks as planned. Having just seen Hull one, I would say that DDG1000 is the best bet for afloat trials.

The next step after WB 8 (or 8.1 if it happens) is DEMO (or WB-D). DEMO is fragged as a net power 100MW plant.
The fat lady has not sung. Our best indication will be in the next six months as to what the future holds. If tests are going well, I think we will know.
If tests do not go well, we may not hear so much.

TecnoImpacto
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Postby TecnoImpacto » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:34 am

WizWom wrote:Navy would REALLY like a continuous 100MW power plant with only tiny pumps. Submariners would kill for it.


A continuous 100MW output of electricity could boost the defensive power of a entire fleet. Navy really needs lasers as defense against ballistic misiles and antiship missiles. Aircraft carriers are really vulnerable today.

By Northrop Grumman (2007)
Possibly might be incorporated into a future version of the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) F-35
Joint High Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) Program

Designed to accelerate solid-state laser technology for military uses, the JHPSSL program is funded by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala; Office of the Secretary of Defense - Joint Technology Office, Albuquerque; Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; and the Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va.

Under the current phase (Phase 3), the program's goal is for a laser system to reach 100 kW, setting the stage for a variety of force protection and strike missions such as shipboard defense against cruise missiles; wide-area, ground-based defense against rockets, artillery, and mortars; and precision strike missions for airborne platforms.

Northrop Grumman surpassed a critical milestone on the JHPSSL 2 program when it demonstrated a laser system with a total power of greater than 27 kW with a run time of 350 seconds.

Northrop Grumman's approach utilizes amplifier chains assembled with multiple high-power gain modules. The company's JHPSSL demonstrator used two chains to demonstrate the 27 kW level achieved during Phase 2. Avoiding the need for new physics or scaling, the company's 100 kW architecture uses eight chains, very similar to those used in its 27 kW device.

JHPSSL Phase 1 addressed risk reduction of the technologies necessary to obtain high power and beam quality simultaneously. Phase 2 took these technologies and scaled them to greater than 25 kW, and showed further scalability to 100 kW and beyond.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9JZSjsgWm0

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19192-navy-laser-roasts-incoming-drones-in-midair.html

With 100MW and 20%-30% eficiency laser you can "fire" simoultaneously and continuously 200 or 300 lasers each one of 100kW!. A total 20 or 30MW of direct energy. Also rail guns could be powered. And within a aircraft carrier could fit more than one BW.

Even with WB 0,5MW would make viable laser on trucks, airborne lasers in airplanes like C-130, etc.

If BW with 100MW could be placed in a 747 and if they could combine 10x100KW electric lasers, they could shoot down intercontinetal balistic misiles from hundreds of km away in matter of seconds each one. They did it with only 1MW chemical laser. But chemical laser has many problems. With electric lasers and BW the "Star Wars" defense system will be very real.

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:48 am

Nice video example of my earlier points on air defense.
the video shows a non-sea skimming target that takes about 12 seconds to burn. 12 seconds gets you dead these days. And, please remember at sea level, there is much more crap in the air, and more crap equals more burn time.

Antice
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Postby Antice » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:39 am

The demonstration used a laser that is severely underpowered compared to what is sought after for an operational system. even 100kW is considdered as marginal for shooting down incomming drones. besides. the drone lost controll long before 12 seconds. it was more like 8 seconds. And that was with a notional 32kW. a 100kW should be able to reduce time on target to about a third of that. Optimally a laser should be able to down a target in less than 1 sec. that requires a laser with aprox 250kW.
For a full up weapon system it would probably pay to go even higher than that to head off any hardening attempts done to eventually try to defeat the system.

TecnoImpacto
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Postby TecnoImpacto » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:25 am

ladajo wrote:the video shows a non-sea skimming target that takes about 12 seconds to burn. 12 seconds gets you dead these days. And, please remember at sea level, there is much more crap in the air, and more crap equals more burn time.


I don't think so, it had catastrophic damage in about 5 seconds with only a 32kW laser.

The laser is an Free Electron laser, its frecuency is adjustable to air conditions. I don't know details but if the skimmer can track its objetive (radar, heat seaker, laser... ) I think that with much more reason the FEL will fry those sensors of the missile in a fraction of a second, so it cannot longer "see" the objetive. I don't know if they have a inertial guidance system but in such case they skimm roughly 30 km only with it... You are thinking on hypersonic missiles, with so high speed any contact with water will destroy them.

When aproching the fleet, the missile will receive every Watt. If they can fly skimming, they cannot have a heavy structure nor amor. Even a 100kW will hole it like butter.

In such a real battle. When the system become fully developed, a fleet (or even a single warship) will be throwing much more than 100kW on every missile, maybe from more than one source (airborne lasers also possible). The skimmer will have no chance. A fleet will be capable to throw (minimum) several tens of MW of laser power.

With an electric power plant of 100MW and electric lasers, a fleet could withstand several docens of missiles, throwing simoultaneously several hundreds of kW on each.

Correction: the laser was not a FEL, was a solid state laser. But the Navy wants the FELs.
Last edited by TecnoImpacto on Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TecnoImpacto
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Postby TecnoImpacto » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:40 am

Antice wrote:For a full up weapon system it would probably pay to go even higher than that to head off any hardening attempts done to eventually try to defeat the system.


That's true for heavy weapons, but missiles and airships will be very diffcicult to "hardening". Even a lot of heavy weapons will have serious problems if they use antennas or sensors.

Even without WB, a lot of military hardware will become obsolete with lasers. The marriage WB+lasers will chage completly the battlefield.

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Postby Antice » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:53 am

Hardeing in regards to defending against laser strikes is not the same as armor in the common sense. In order to sucessfully defend against lasers one wants to add a reflective coating that reflects a significant fraction of the incomming energy. the second tier of defence is to use thermally conductive materials in order to conduct energy away from the heating point. A hypersonic missile need not buy all that much time in order to reach it's goal. With Laser defences becoming the dominant anti missile defence the start signal for a new arms race between missiles and lasers is sounded and for a while all bet's will be off when it comes to the power balance between offencive and defencive power.
Historically offensive power has won these races, But laser defences may finaly turn the tide of history.

TecnoImpacto
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Postby TecnoImpacto » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:21 am

Antice wrote:to add a reflective coating that reflects a significant fraction of the incomming energy. the second tier of defence is to use thermally conductive materials in order to conduct energy away from the heating point.

Historically offensive power has won these races, But laser defences may finaly turn the tide of history.


I have read that above certeain power/surface ratio there are no metalic mirrors that can withstand, and dielectric mirrors only could within very limited ranges of angle of incidence and frecuencies. I suppose it is very similar with thermall conductivity.

I don't know what is the power threshold, but above it, and when lasers become generaliced, I think it all will become matter of who manages to fire its lasers first :)

TecnoImpacto
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Postby TecnoImpacto » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:33 pm

Antice wrote:Optimally a laser should be able to down a target in less than 1 sec. that requires a laser with aprox 250kW.


http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/ADA476320.pdf

"Free-electron lasers are expected to produce power levels in the multi-megawatt class. The Navy is pursuing FELs for integration on a future all electric ship to provide ship defense"

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:46 pm

I agree, but to quote a friend of mine from last week when we visited the state of the art facility for UUV, "I want what they will have in ten years now".

FEL is a good program. FEL is not here today as a tactical system.

The shot you watched in the video is what we call a "Duck Shoot".

Now imagine a high G maneuvering target that is constantly changing it aspect (burn point) as well as having heat disapative skin and ablative material, coupled with a ridiculously low run in profile and sea spray, salt in the air, and all the general crap you have just above the water. These systems do not get targeting sensors "fried by lasers" as they are non-optical for the most part. Adding an ablative nose cone is not that hard. Then you shoot 6 or 10 weapons at your target and the come in on the deck in a coordinated attack at mach 2.5 or better, that is a tough problem. How much time do you get from horizon to impact at mach 3?
Don't forget to factor in detect, classify, ID and track delays.

I think the best end game for a surface combatant is one that relies on several kenetic and non kenetic mechanisms to engage the threat. No one system will ever be the panecea.
Don't forget, the bad guy can target your sensors as well.

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Postby Roger » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:30 pm

Ladajo, what I understand of the S-300/400 sunburn and Russian 555 is that climb-staying out of the thicker air below 10k ft. Cruising @ mach 2.5,
Then diving ( the target @ well over mach 3. I've never hear anyting about on the deck multi mach behavoir. The entire point of those missles is to foil aegis thru the bull rush, making the engagement time something on the order of seconds because of the 2000 to 2600 mph speed. All other carrier group defensive systems are subsonic IIRC.
Now if somebody I'd flying CAP 100 miles out and can turn and get an up the shot @ the afterburner of a sunburn, that's a different game.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

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Postby TecnoImpacto » Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:37 pm

ladajo wrote:FEL is not here today as a tactical system.
...
Now imagine a high G maneuvering target that is constantly changing it aspect (burn point) as well as having heat disapative skin and ablative material, coupled with a ridiculously low run in profile and sea spray, salt in the air


I aware FEL with megawatt power are years away. The MW-class can be attained with other technologies (i.e. focusing several 100kW lasers), the difference is that the frecuency of a free electron laser is adjustable, and can penetrate sea spray as the radar can. Against a FEL there not will be options, it is impossible to disipate or reflect such power, there is not material able to do it, so forget the heat disipative skin: the target will be holed.

ladajo wrote:a ridiculously low run in profile


Radars actually can track such profile today. The laser travels at the speed of light so can be real time focused without problem on you missile. Mach 5 is too slowly against the speed of computers and the speed of ligth of the lasers. Today antiship systems can track an incoming missile, the problem is bullets are not lasers; bullets have a balistic trajectory, they are very slow and its trajectory is afected by wind, so it is difficult to aim with them. With laser, where the radar sees the missile the laser will be focused.

High g maneouvering don't means nothing against a system that don't needs to do high g maneouvering to fire.

Even with a 100kW laser a missile will cannot make "high G maneuvering" anymore because its sensors will be fryed in a fraction of second. There will not be time for maneuvering. If the defense system has only one 100kW laser, it would be needed kinetic options. But again that will not be the case (on the long term).

With a few hundred laser a missile will have not options.

ladajo wrote:Then you shoot 6 or 10 weapons at your target and the come in on the deck in a coordinated attack at mach 2.5 or better, that is a tough problem. How much time do you get from horizon to impact at mach 3

How much time do you get from horizon to impact at mach 3


The horizon of a fleet could be hundreeds of km away (AWACS, helos, airfighters, ...). An airborne 200kW laser could have time to defeat your whole attack (it is not easy but possible; the airborne laser used in C-130 has 100-300kW, with a 10cm diameter beam at target). With a BW 100MW onboard, a ship may laser 20 or 30MW of direct energy continously. A fleet even more.

How much power is 20-30MJ per second, on a little sufarce?. For comparation, a 1kg projectile at 5km/s has a 12.5MJ of kinetic energy. What occurs if your missiles are being hit by two 1 kg projectiles at 5km/s every second? Ok, it is not the same impact.

In another view: with 20MW you could mealt at least 10kg of any material per second.

So the question you should ask is: How many time could a missile withstand a 1MW laser (focused on a 10 cm diameter) when approching the fleet. And remember the fleet (even a single ship) has at least 19MW more wating for it.

The defensive system could focus 2-3MW simoultaneously on each missile. Or it could focus 20-30MW secuantially on each missile for 1 second: 10 seconds, 10 missiles mealted. Or better, could blind each of them with a centiseconds flash, and after that could focus secuentially 20-30MW of direct energy on each.

Once a few hundred kW or more powerful laser is focused on a missile, it has no time for high g maniovering. Your 3 or 5 match missiles are like blind turtles made of butter.

There is only an option against high energy lasers: to avoid to be focused with them.

ladajo wrote:Don't forget, the bad guy can target your sensors as well.


Here I agree with you. That maybe an strategy.

If your missiles are focused with a medium power laser (even only a 50kW laser) in centiseconds your missile had been blinded, every sensor exposed to the laser had been destroyed. Once focused with a high energy laser (i.e. 0.5MW) your missile is holed like butter in less than 1 second. A multi-megawatt FEL could defeat

So, it needs to avoid to be focused with the laser. It needs to detect the enemy radar (or other sensors) and be the first who fire the laser against them, or be able to avoid to be focused with laser, or avoid to be detected or tracked. But actually missiles don´t have lasers to fire, and once detected by the radar they will become mach 3-5 turtles against the laser defense.

Hypervelocity misseles will not be able to hit a ship with an onboard 100MW of electric power and lasers with 20-30% eficiency (supposed there is not a system failure).

In an scenery with WB 100MW and laser FEL with eficiency>20%, ships will not have defensive kinetic weapons (for surface and air battles), because its volume and its weigth will have better use (i.e. with more WB, rail guns or more lasers).

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:52 am

Techno:
You have a decent grasp of the problem. However, you put greater faith in the technologies than than actually can perform.
Horizon is a function of line of sight. For a normal warship, this is about 11nm or so. Putting up helo's or aircraft does not really improve your air picture. They are not really equiped for air volume search. Hawkeye and Awacs can help this, but they are not so good for low altitude low signature targets.
The point of high G maneuvering is primary to complicate the targeting and tracking function. He's coming at me, now he's not sort of thing. The added benefit for directed energy, is now as the weapon makes it turns, it keeps changing the burn point presented to the engaging mount. This slows down the process.
Air Warfare is a battle of the clock. Directed Energy is not there yet for multiple targets.
You also better hope that it is not raining or that no one layed a smoke screen.

Roger: The nasties do not dive. They come in on the deck really fast. Sub-sonic bus with a final stage sprint detaching vehicle.

try: http://www.dtig.org/docs/Klub-Family.pdf

and from http://warfare.ru/?catid=312&linkid=2181

The last two types are anti-ship missiles. The 3M54 (or 3M54E in the export version) long missile is a supersonic, three-stage missile. The first stage is a booster, while the second is a winged cruise stage. It can be launched vertically, from an angled launcher, or from a torpedo tube. At an altitude of up to 150 m the solid-propellant booster is jettisoned, and the under-fuselage air intake is extended. The turbojet sustainer engine is started, and at the same time, the wings and tail surfaces are extended. The missile transitions to cruise mode and descends to its cruising altitude of 10 to 15 m above sea level. At a distance of about 30 to 40 km from the target, the missile climbs to a higher altitude and activates its ARGS-54 active radar seeker. After the target is located and the INS updated, at about 20 km from the target, the terminal (third) stage separates. The missile accelerates to supersonic speed (Mach 2.9) and attacks using the ARGS-54 active/passive seeker to guide the diving missile. For the last 15-20 km, the missile descends to 3-5 m above the wave tops, with some loss of speed. The ARGS-54 was developed by Radar MMS, of St. Petersburg. It can detect targets from 60 km, at a 45-degree angle. The warhead of the supersonic 3M54E is a penetration type, weighing 200 kg. The missile has low radar signature and could be covered in RAMs. High speed and maneuvers increase its penetration capabilities.


SS-N-25 Sunburn is also no fun. But at least it does not have the sprint vehicle.

In any event, imagine having 10 of these or more coming at you.
With an 11nm horizon, you have about 20 seconds to see them, figure out what they are, decide which systems to use, and then use them before the weapons impact you.

Betruger
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Postby Betruger » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:21 am

It might be my overgrown reptilian organs, but reading this stuff is really cool. Thanks for sharing Ladajo & co.

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Postby ltgbrown » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:55 am

I was part of the requirements team for the E-2D Hawkeye. I am fairly, actually, very confident we will have significantly more than 11 NM to detect, track, ID, and engage. Don't forget about CEC and why it was created. Coupled with the SM-3 (or whatever they are labeling the version with a terminal seeker), you have a very robust capability. Add in FELs for line of sight and you have a multilayered defense. All thanks to the E-2D. There is a reason the surface community gave up billions in shipbuilding to ensure the Hawkeye remained funded. Detection and tracking is not the problem! :D
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